Our gardening forebears meant watermelon to be the juicy, barefoot taste of a hot summer’s end, just as a pumpkin is the trademark fruit of late October. Most of us accept the latter, and limit our jack-o’-latern activities to the proper botanical season. Waiting for a watermelon is harder. It’s tempting to reach for melons, red peppers, tomatoes, and other late-summer delights before the summer even arrives. But it’s actually possible to wait, celebrating each season when it comes, not fretting about its being absent at all other times because something else good is at hand.
I realize there are some things I haven’t done yet this summer, and time is short. It’s funny how the changing season does that (funny too that I never come to the end of winter thinking about things done and not done).
This summer has been one of great blessing; the things left done rest gently without regret. There will, Lord willing, be others—and even this summer’s not quite over yet.
It can be a challenge to live in gratitude for what is, letting go of what might have been and what is yet to come—but it is the better way. As years pass, I am ever more aware that time is fleeting, and I grow more intentional about how I spend it.
Bowls of colourful and delicious heirloom tomatoes adorn my dining room table. I’ve been waiting for them—not always patiently—while I’ve been present with other things. That I choose not to eat tomatoes out of season makes them all the sweeter now.
I think that it is folly how we have come to believe we can have it all at all times. We choose to ignore the wisdom of the delicious joy of waiting and living in gratitude for here and now. In doing so we have become impatient and entitled. The tomatoes remind me of that.
And so, as the sun rises in the clear morning sky (bright enough to be in my eyes!), and cool, fresh late-summer air fills the room through an open door—I breathe a prayer of thanksgiving for just this simple moment. The rest will come later.