When I pause to think about it, it was tomatoes that did it to me, really.
That first bite of a vine-ripened-fresh-from-the-plant-right-outside-the-front-door-onto-the-plate-tomato – it hooked me, caught me, captured me and coaxed me into becoming a gardener myself.
“You mean this is what a tomato really tastes like?!” I remember saying out loud, to no one in particular. “I never knew.”
The thing is, I had become acclimatized, slowly, over time, to that round red fruit that is sold in the grocery store under the label ‘tomato.’ The fact that this round red fruit did not always taste like much had somehow ceased to be of importance to me, so gradual was the fall from flavor.
Until I tasted the real thing – and that changed everything. I had to learn to grow such beauty myself.
Which, of course, is what spirituality is all about – tasting that which is, which is more, which is, we say, of God – and thereafter not being satisfied with anything else.
It is a conversion – but one that is coaxed from us, and then cultivated within us – and one whose whole reason for being is to bear much fruit.
Taste and see – for it is good. Very good.
*This piece was written originally for the September issue of Life and Work, the magazine of the Church of Scotland, to address the question, “What are the spiritual benefits of growing your own fruit and veg?”