Have you ever stopped and really looked at a tomato? I just did. I was on my customary trip to the kitchen to get my standard first cup of morning coffee. It was around 7 a.m. And while I was waiting for the coffee to finish brewing (Mr. Coffee maker, thank you) I noticed two red ripe tomatoes sitting on the counter.
Now, when I say “sitting” I don’t mean they were lounging around on a chair. Feet up on a footstool and watching TV or reading a magazine. They were simply on the counter. I don’t know why we say “sitting” on the counter when they’re not even people with legs. But anyway, the two tomatoes were on a little cardboard container thing they came packaged in from the store. The cardboard “boat” (I think that’s what you call them) was wrapped in plastic and sold on a shelf in the supermarket. In this case Trader Joes. The tomatoes were organic. There were three tomatoes in the package (see, now it’s a package. First it’s a plastic-covered “boat” now it’s a “package.” You might as well say the tomatoes were “housed” in a plastic-covered-cardboard-boat package and then they were brought home to “sit” on the counter.)
The tomato I picked up, as I was waiting for my coffee, was so damn red and ripe and beautiful, I had to stop and marvel at its lusciousness. The morning sun was filtering through the kitchen window shade…I was in a half-asleep, half-awake dreaming yet not dreaming state, and I saw this tomato sitting on the counter, picked it up and looked at it. Marveled at its red brilliant beauty.
A damn tomato. Sliced up and put into millions of dishes all around the world. On pizza. In salad. On sandwiches. In curry. In salsa. In Greek salad. Bruschetta. Tomato soup. (Canned and fresh). On top of sourdough bread. Raw, sliced with a splash of olive oil and salt.
Shit, tomatoes can get around.
This tomato was so perfect. So ripe. So beautiful I almost cried. Not really. But I was in awe of the natural beauty of the round red thing.
Nature sure can pump out some miracles. If you stop and look at all the variety nature shares with us humans, it’s mind-boggling. The graceful way apples bloom on a tree. The simple elegant crazy broccoli stalk. The artichoke. What’s up with the artichoke? Such a weirdly beautiful little creation. Sitting on the ground in rows.
And then we have the banana. But that’s a whole ‘nother story.
By the time I got my coffee—and hey, what about coffee beans? Who invented those? Who decided they would be good served in a billion cups all around the globe to a billion or more people, every day, three times a day in an endless array of coffee combinations—some with sugar and cream, some just black and bold and beautiful?
So you see, there’s a lot to be grateful for. Even if you’ve never met your neighbor on the other side of the planet. Understand that they, too, reach for a cup of coffee in the morning and sometimes see a tomato (or 2) “sitting” on their counter.
That should make you want to love them even more…