Thursday, August 13, 2009

Do You Speak 'Mater?

Do you ever have those moments when something you don't even know you know comes gently into your mind, into your set of knowledge, as if it had always been there? Comfortable, old knowledge...something you know in your skin, in your breath...know without effort.

I am not a knowledgeable gardner. My beloved is far more knowledgeable than I am about these things, and even he will quickly tell you he's still learning.  But once in a while, I feel so intimately connected to and aware of the plants, the soil, the blossoms and the ripening fruit. It feels like knowing a person, someone you're so intimate with, even if you can't articulate what you know about them, you just know. Ya' know?

Yeah, sounds a bit woo-woo...but it's a real feeling just the same. It's like a language I think I've forgotten that floats back into my conciousness from time to time. My father spoke that language. He loved growing things...loved the dirt, the green, and the beautiful harvest that fed his family and his soul.

I feel him the other day when I placed the umpteenth tomato in the kitchen windowsill to ripen. The window was full and I swear I heard him chuckle, "Whatcha' gonna do with the rest of them 'maters in the garden, gal? You need a couple more windows!"

Dad, I've only got one kitchen window, but I have lots of friends who are enjoying these tomatoes, just like your friends did. Briana and Sarah both love 'em warm, fresh off the vine. We eat 'em with breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and I even made spaghetti sauce with my own fresh tomatoes last week.

Ah, but what am I telling you all this for. I'm sure you already know.

Photos: Linda Davenport 2009


  1. Anonymous11:39 AM

    Yep, I speak 'Mater! What beautiful pictures and words to describe it! And thank you for sharing! ~Zephyr

  2. And what a lovely memory of your father.

  3. Anonymous1:07 PM

    I have memories like that of my grandfather. I remember trailing down rows after him wedged between bean trellis and corn row, hands up near my face so the corn stalks wouldn't slice my cheeks, screeching at a garden snake slithering away from the ruckus we'd make, the threats of "don't cross rows" and "watch the squash" being hollered from several rows away (like the greenery was speaking).

    Some of my best memories from childhood play around that patch of ground. There is a language there, you're right. It's love.


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