This year I harvested my first ever eggplants from my garden. It’s been many years since I had a garden, and I’d never grown eggplants before. Truth be told, my garden got minimum care in the warmest month because I was traveling a lot, so what I really did was see that little eggplant plant in May and imagine that it would be fun to grow them, and I planted them in the right sunny spot. I didn’t wish over them or baby them. I watered (and asked someone else to water when I was gone) and then one day, there were two, beautiful perfectly purple eggplants. Frankly, I think vegetables are miraculous. I haven’t been so excited about something I’ve grown in a long time, even the tenacious tomatoes that are struggling against the back wall of the garden.
I remember the first time I dug potatoes, Matt had said they were probably ready, and I wanted to make potato leek soup, so I knelt down next to the mounded dirt, the green plants filling out the ridges. I began digging to find the white fingerlings, plunging my hands into the dirt, finding jewel after jewel. It was simply the coolest, most amazing thing I’d experienced with harvesting. There’s a trust with potatoes, you can’t see them, but there they are, all the way from South America, feeding the world’s population over and over . . . in my backyard under the gray sky. Is it my imagination that things you grow taste better? Does it matter?
Harvesting is one of the most perfect metaphors for cycles of life and business: what seeds have you planted? What have you faith enough to grow? What will flourish despite your apparent neglect, and what will need you there, tending and paying close attention? What will bring you delight when indeed, you plunge your hands in, and you bring to the light something that’s labored underground for months, that will feed you, feed your work and your world?