I stepped out back yesterday evening to check on our new plantings. They’d all been watered earlier in the day, but I wanted to just take a look, and tell them goodnight. Yes, I talk to the plants. I sing to them too, when they get their morning watering. They seem to enjoy it, and it soothes the heck outta me.
As I looked at the tomato plant in its big pot, I decided to rotate it around on its plant caddy. Pleased with its happy, robust growth, I reached down to gently fluff the burst of new leaves. As I drew my hands back, I was swamped by an olfactory memory.
The scent wafting through the air was just like the leaves from the tomato plants my Gogi used to grow in large pots in her back yard. Exactly. Precisely. Whoa.
I raised my hands to my face and inhaled as deeply as I could. I felt my mind pop off and go roaming through time and space without the rest of me.
Suddenly, I was a teenager again, helping Gogi pick tomatoes from the plants as she taught me which were ”ready.” I could feel that soft, soft, Southern evening air. I could hear the tree frogs starting their extraordinarily intense chorus. I knew we would soon go inside and set our treasures on the sideboard to ripen in the sun that beamed through the kitchen window during the day. I knew that we would have a glass of sweet tea and perhaps a chocolate chip cookie while sitting at the kitchen table and talking about everything and nothing at all.
I knew utter, bone-deep contentment.
I wasn’t experienced enough to recognize the crystalline perfection of that moment way back when. Today, I am deeply grateful that my senses and my memory banks brought it back, ever so briefly, so I could fully appreciate the treasure of an early Summer evening with Gogi.
And yes … I will be visiting the ‘mater plant every evening now. How could I not?