I grew up with grandparents who were outside every warm Texas evening, trying to chit chat over the incessant shrill of cicadas and pulling weeds together. I remember helping my grandmother shell black eyed peas at the kitchen counter and thinking, why can't we just buy them in a can like normal people? I never appreciated hard work as a kid. It wasn't until I grew up and became responsible for my own garden that I understood the complete wonderment of watching seeds grow into life. The more intimately I till the earth, the closer I grow to God. Maybe that's why country folk are typically the most religious. They witness God's miracle of life every year.
Maybe it's the bursting of a ripe tomato as I bite into it. Or maybe it's the heavenly scent of butter melting into boiled summer squash. I love it all.
Most of our vegetables came from our ward garden. I tended my own tomato plants at home, which ended up being a mistake since we had enough tomatoes to feed an army. Many of them rotted on the vine because there was an overabundance. (I tell this to my Papa and he cringes because they got hail early this season and didn't get as many tomatoes. Texas weather is rough sometimes.)
Lily learned pretty early on how to pick tomatoes off the vine and eat them (even the green ones). When she'd had her fill, she'd find the biggest, roundest tomato and roll it down the driveway with a cheer. I'm sure the neighbors now think me insane due to how many times I chased after tomatoes bouncing down the driveway.
Last autumn, I planted tulips along the border of my front yard. Lily was enthralled by them and even bent down to taste them a few times.
To my delight, alliums also unexpectedly popped up in my backyard.
This summer, I planted rows upon rows of sunflowers. In order to combat the aphids, I released one thousand lady bugs into my garden. Of course, when I released them, Lily attempted to eat a few.
^ dying tomato plants. I'm really upset with autumn for coming so quickly this year. I couldn't care less about the fashion aspect of autumn. I just want my flowers back.