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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Tomato as Symbol

Symbolism in food - Adam and Eve along with Snow White come to mind immediately along with an image of a highly polished, red, ripe apple.  While the literary and social references to individual foods are arguably endless, I am experiencing one of my own this growing season and it is not all pleasant, but rather reflective of life.

In May, on the day before renewing my 25 year wedding vows, my estranged husband took it upon himself to weed one of my flower gardens though I had quite explicitly requested he leave it alone and assured him I would take care of it if it bothered him.  The gardens were my project - or so I thought.  He persisted and proceeded to "weed" numerous perennial flowers.  Plants that I enjoyed for years, he thought were weeds and simply removed them and threw them in the woods.  Our son made a reference to the argument in his toast to us and people laughed.

The following week we celebrated Mother's Day and along with some flowers, I bought my Mommy a few tomato plants and kept 3 for myself.  My estranged husband planted them in the garden in place of the missing flowers.  We had a second argument when I stated the plants were too close together.  The marriage appears to be over and I watch the plants bloom flowers that magically turn into tomatoes. 

The weight of the growing fruit pulls the branches down and a recent storm blew the thin metal supports over.  I told my older son the plants need wooden stakes driven into the ground but that I had no wood.  He said he would find me some.  Within minutes he had the circular saw out and shaped scrap wood into stakes while I retrieved twine and supported the heavy plants as best I could.

I daydream about these plants and the food they produce;  how will I eat the tomatoes, who will I share them with and what will life look like on that day?  Simple food, grown from the earth, tended to by family - basic and purely Fed Well.

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