Dearest Yellow Squashes mused the Tomatoe Divas, while your yellow orange flowers are stunning and your leaves are something to be admired, your dress trails the dirt and you are bit prickly at the stem and I don’t see much fruit on you…yet.
Well Diva Mato responded the Yellow Squash, you look good when you are all red and blushing but right now your blooms are, ahem, rather smallish and most of your fruit is green! You emit a slight odor that seems unpleasant to the bees, who love us. But I must admit, the Human Bloom who comes to water us and lift us, do fuss over your tresses more than mine…I think I must be hardier!
Well Y. Squash you and I have been hanging out in the garden together for at least hundreds of years according to the Plums, and I wonder who our grandmother roots and seeds thought was the Queen of the Garden?
At that moment the Human Bloom came and the plants in the whole garden shushed eachother and smiled. She came with the water of life and cooed over the squash blossoms, sniffed the tomatoes excitedly and complimented both of them on their good work. Both the Diva Mato and the Y. Squash blushed. And everyone drank happily of the stream.
Seeing the whole thing, and being accustomed to this kind of talk, the Lemon Cucumber spoke up.
At first the Diva Mato and Y. Squash thought, who does she think she is cucumbering into our conversation? But then they began to listen to her. There was something about those Lemon Cucumber cousins at the edge of the garden that made others pay attention.
Lemon Cucumber was a great orator: We are all the blooms on the Queen who is our Mother, the Earth. We are the jewels in her crown and without each of our gifts the seasons would long for us and the Human Blooms would turn to canned plants.
ACKK!! Was heard.Then the whole garden gave a perceptable sigh. If a Human Bloom were to be present at the time a whole garden sighed, she would certainly hear it but might mistake it for the rustling of leaves or a squirrel jumping from limb to limb.
The Basil, who notice everything, did look up and see the Human Bloom glance out the kitchen window at the time of the Acck and Sigh, but then turn back to morning dishes as if thinking of something else suddenly.
The Diva Mato and the Y. Squash considered the words of the Lemon Cucumber very carefully. She was known to be smart and even moonlight with sage in counseling the malnourished seeds about coming up anyway even if they don’t make it to harvest, as least ‘get above ground’ they told those little seeds that could. Even if you die, they counseled, it is better to have lived a little. And then you become compost and that is a high calling that each of know is a part of our own story. Don’t worry. You will come back and your beings will live one way or another. Just do your part and see. You never know what could happen!
At that the Chives began to hum like tiny horns and the Oregano joined in the base section. The Garlic sounded a low trombone and the morning glories began an aria. The Roses took the main vocals and the Zuchini began the guitar. The corn began to clap in time and the gladiolas were the audience. Then basil added her voice to Roses began to sing the blues in harmony.
All of this seemed magical to Diva Mato and Y. Squash who sometimes, not all the time, got lost in thinking they were the Queens of the Garden and mattered more than anyone else. It took the other Plants to let them know that it was the whole of them together that crowned the Queen who is their Mother.
And so Tomato began her drumming and Squash her saxaphone and between notes the two smiled at eachother because it was clear, that the Garden Song was not complete without them.
All of them. Together.
Then the Human Bloom came out and with hands of love and sounds of appreciation, humming, in time it seemed, and she approached Basil with humble regard. The others watched as Abundant Basil turned her little faces up and offered herself into the hands that came for her. Her final note in the blues bar was heard as this:
This is what I came here for. This kind of love.
Then the Human Bloom, who all the plants adored, went to the Plum tree, and stroked her and thanked her and gathered red gold lavender glistening gems into her apron with the basil. The Plum Tree sighed with relief and giggled a bit as her branch resettled her weight.
The Human Bloom offered a Rose at the foot of the Jesus and the Family Stone which included Joseph and Mary. The plants wondered why the stones didn’t speak but seemed to hold so much importance for the Human Bloom, and she spoke to them all the time. They didn’t sing and they didn’t make fruit and they didn’t talk to the others but at night they were the ones who lit the garden with a light that both made every plant happy and able to sleep soundly through the night. Who were those strange stone Blooms? The Rocks, who did not talk with Plants outloud but through vibration, knew just who they were because they had been around so long and so they tried to tell the Plants about it but that took time.
The Plum Trees chuckled, shaking their full boughs with light plum colored laughter. The Plum Trees, though seasonal with fruit are awake all year long and were in the garden, over 35 years old, chuckled amongst themselves at the always new attitudes of the Vegetables who, though their seeds stretched back as far as anyone could remember, every year had to grow up into the ripe beings that they were to become.
Isn’t it amazing said the oldest Grandmother Plum in the garden with boughs bursting, how each one of us needs each other one of us to teach us about who we are? Imagine the conversation in a whole garden of tomatoes where they think they are the only ones in the world? I love to hear the quarrels of the vegetable children as they discover their self importance. It seems natural to boast at first and learn to love oneself – and in time – it levels outs. In the space of the praising of oneself, that child finds language for what they love about themselves and that turns into goodness later. And by the time harvest comes and all my fruit is gone, the whole garden is a symphony of understanding. Sure, it takes some time…and wise ones like Lemon Cucumber mediate challenging debates…but the sweetness of ripening understanding fills my days with laughter and possibility. The other Plums nodded yes and resumed the making of fruit.
Each of us has our place and life works well when we know what it is Sang the Roses emitting a fragrance that could be smelled if one per chance was walking past an urban garden full of conversation and song.
And this the Human Bloom observed while washing dishes and folding laundry and sat down with a cup of coffee and a pen to write it all down before the sound of the chive trumpets and the chuckles of the plums were just a memory of morning. She began:
When the Tomatoes and the Yellow Squash squabble…