This summer, I have access to a garden. A luxury I haven't had in many many seasons.
I was reminded this evening, as I walked about plucking leaves of kale and pulling at tender grape tomatoes, that life is quite diminished without these little gems that use to pervade our culture.
While having and keeping your own garden, whether in a large field or in an urban setting, seems to have made a come back in the past decade or so...there was a time when a garden was ESSENTIAL. How else would you and your family have access to fresh food? By studying the seasons, tending to the earth, nurturing little seedlings, and praying for the right amount of rain...each household was ensured fruits for every season. A bounty of food; a collection of life.
As I walked circles in my little square garden I eyed the lemon cucumbers. I spied one that was just days from perfect fruition, and out of impatience I snapped it from it's life source. It was nearly there, and it would be a great addition to my orzo salad.
In the corner, a bouquet of basil shone green, bragging to be pulled. I walked over to the herb, a personal favorite, and crouched down to take in my selection. I deeply inhaled as I pulled leaf after leaf...Imagining a season where I could plant enough basil to make jars of fresh pesto.
Once I had collected all my fruits, I slowly closed the garden gate and proceed to our bus; our tiny home for the summer. Once inside, I gently washed all of my garden gems and selected the perfect knife for dissecting.
The tomatoes juices bursted open with each slice. I then thinly chopped the basil, quick, and with purpose. Various aromas taking to the air, I cut the cucumbers. With each chop a satisfying sound of "crunch, crunsh crunshhh".
Water began boiling in a pot, and I tossed the orzo in as steam hovered over the stove. I slowly stir the pasta, my hand warm from the thick, moist air. The pasta quickly cooks, and is drained before leaving the window of it being ala denté-another personal favorite.
I then tossed the warm orzo with olive oil, salt, pepper. It's time for the tomatoes to be added, slightly broken down by the warm past. Next, chives, onion, basil, cucumber, a dash of vinegar.
I breathe deep and become aware of how delighted my eyes are by the natural array of colors. I scoop up a spoonful of my creation and take a bite. Warm, cool, salty, juicy, tangy, crunchy, soft. So many textures, flavors, colors, and feelings. As is life: a collection of different experiences...that beckon to TRULY be experienced.
With satisfaction, I set the table, I pour a glass of crisp white wine from Romania....