Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Flesh of Summer.

There are few times in my life that I remember getting something back that had been taken away. Not lost, mind you....taken.

Taken things are not always snatched by greedy hands, in lust for that which is not theirs; no, some things are taken for Good. Some things are taken by circumstances and situations. Some, by hands which, I am told, belong to the One Who Knows the End. And, this taken thing's disappearance from life, will "work together for good;" whether that be an eventual peaceful acceptance, or a graced return after a season of abstinence.

Tomatoes have been returned to my palate.

Heirloom orbs of yellow, orange and red, flirted with eyes which had long looked away, turning aside from their alluring flesh of summer. I had suspicions that these fruits of the garden made my stomach cry out more than its usual amount, and I have not eaten a tomato in years.

But on Saturday I was seduced by the smell of vines' succulence and their produces' promise, and by my mother's coaxing that she would eat one with me. It is amazing what that does mentally: to jump off a "bridge" with someone. Holding abstract hands, reaching stomach to stomach, we would go down together. The last time I ate in a restaurant, it was also the comfort of camaraderie that got me over the fearful step of ordering. Taking a deep breath, stew was ordered without the dumplings. Looks were exchanged of "well, if we get sick, we get sick together." That, from normal vantage, is demented assuagement.

Cutting into a Tomato, I breathed this breath again -- the one that sighs with, "this can't make me feel any worse." How strange, I thought, to be in a place where I am surprised when things sit well inside.

An orange and red tomato were cut with plastic forks into meaty slices; olive oil, salt and pepper were cracked heartily. The first bite dripped with remembrance, carrying memories of farms, gardens, snakes, humidity, and cottage cheese. And, Summer was Engaged...come what may in this Season, it is here.

After Saturday's spontaneous indulgence, one yellow tomato sat alone, its tri-color company broken. Tonight, I feasted again on the long missed flesh of summer and on the promise of return.

~ Tasting Tomatoes ~

Romaine lettuce
Yellow tomato
Olive oil
Red wine vinegar
Sea salt
Freshly cracked pepper

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