This tomato kept my gaze for a long time recently before slicing it for a lunch. Its beauty. It color. Its nourishment. The tomato seems such a simple thing set here in a bunch of basil and soon to be covered in olive oil, sea salt, balsamic vinegar and then …eaten.
Every day I meet men who are experiencing homelessness. It may be a short episode of only a few days after a job loss or it may be a chronic situation. Once one has fallen into that situation, it is hard to climb back out. Logistics get in the way. One thing leads to another – no address, no mail, no computer, no job search – you get the math.
I was looking hard at this tomato which had come to work with me for lunch one day. I was aware of its nutrition and of the life force it was lending me for my life force. I was aware of how grateful I was to have the tomato, and the job which paid for it. And I would work hard to remember the flavor of it as I ate it (having lost taste and smell in an accident.)
We gain things. We loose things. We earn things. We have things. As I age and life seems to become slower and simpler, I am aware that gratitude for what we have – food, friends, employment, a home, a dog – gratitude for these simple things is grounding and is a kind of prayer. It is easy to be moving too fast to see a tomato and to remember the blessing of it.