It occurred to me as I was weeding the tomato patch this morning that stooping in the dirt is much more satisfying when the result is a quart of strawberries than when it's a pile of weeds. We haven't had much rain lately so the weeds are not out of control, but I spent a good 45 minutes this morning just clearing the tomato patch of unwanted vegetation.
And how did the garden respond to a week of neglect? Blueberries and raspberries are ripening nicely and the asparagus is still producing pretty well. I saw some finger-sized zucchini and summer squash, lettuce that desperately needs a drink, tiny green peppers, and some small, hard, green tomatoes, which will grow up to be plump red juicy tomatoes provided we get a little rain pretty soon.
That's what kept me going this morning: the promise of plump red juicy tomatoes. When my calves ached and my feet hurt and my hands got so muddy the weeds were slipping through my fingers, I just held on to that vision. They say gardening builds faith and when it comes to fresh tomatoes, I'm a believer.
Now everybody pray for rain.