Sunday, July 6, 2008
Tomatoes and Contentment
I don't often go back and read my old journal entries, but sometimes when I'm tired or lazy or in heat or just not wanting to write I find myself flipping the pages back to weeks or months gone by.
I try to always write first thing upon waking before the night visions are gone and the coffee has lifted the morning fog. Sometimes there are pleasant surprises to read like the bizarre dreams described that I now have absolutely no recollection of or the snippets of small moments in time that seemed insignificant but now seem particularly beautiful.
Sometimes there are not so pleasant surprises, like how trite and overemotional I often sound, or how silly the words are now that I've gained some time and perspective on whatever it was that I was struggling with.
Yesterday while sitting in the morning sun I was flipping through some of January's journal pages, letting the memories I had put away stream back in for awhile.
This past winter was unexpectedly difficult in many ways. The harsh weather coupled with the physical as well as mental isolation of the dark months were sometimes almost too much to bear.
I expressed this in pages and pages...and pages....and pages, sometimes writing the same thing over and over in some sort of strange compulsion. Reading the words made me wince and flinch and twitch and want to throw the whole thing in the river. But just as I was about to fling the notebook away in disgust, I turned the page and saw something different. Apparently on January 19 I had become so tired of my own overwrought angst that I had grabbed a marker and scrawled in large red letters,
"All I want this year is heirloom tomatoes and contentment."
That's it. Nothing more. I think I just wanted to stop the whining and sum things up so I could get on with it.
Tomatoes and contentment really doesn't seem like that tall of an order, but somehow they've both been eluding me. And so, it's taken me six months, but today I took matters into my own hands and at least tried to get on with it.
After a few hours with my hot pink rubber superhero boots and a spade,
I'm half-way to having heirloom tomatoes.
And after the manual labor, a sunny afternoon spent with a book and a homemade chocolate chip cookie at my own private swimming hole on the beautiful Bear River, contentment may not be as far off as it seems.