I shared the first freshly harvested, sea-salted cucumber (not pictured here b/c it's gone already!) with my Earth Man (new name for Mr. Friendly because it fits better and because he didn't like the sarcastic inuendo and I don't blame him) last night at dusk. It tasted sweet, more like a melon, not bitter at all, yum! It was an especially significant communion (I ate from one end and he from the other) because the veggie garden is a project we created together on a section of our homestead acre that we've previously argued violently over how to cultivate. This year, for the first time since we moved here in 1982, we worked TOGETHER to till the soil, remove the limestones, buy the plants, dig, weed, water and nurture our crop. We grieved together when the deer got into the gate and pulled every freshly planted specimen up by the roots and gasped in horror at the black frost-bite on the tomatoes and peppers the weekend before Easter. When Earth Man comes home from his work in the world, he cannnot wait to strip bare-chested, dawn camo shorts and flip-flops and flee to the garden. But most importantly, neither can I wait to be there with him, whereas in the very recent past, television, email, and phone calls kept us living together but not sharing intimate time or space.
What if this outward and visible sign is indicative of an inward and spiritual grace? What if the winter of our thirty year marriage is over. Can it be that we are finally rooted, committed and willing to be careful with our own tender souls? Can it be that our tears have fed our soil, that the weeds will no longer thrive but instead that we will bloom and harvest the gifts of our mutual tending.