The red fruit made my mouth water.  I could hardly wait for it’s ripening. To help pass time, I planned recipes for each tangy morsel.  I planned: fresh tomato salsa, bruschetta, hand made pasta tossed with tomato, olive oil and garlic and topped with looping curls of Parmesan Reggiano… the list ran for pages.

I carefully tended the plant. I gave it the perfect amount of water. I fed the soil the recommended type and amount of fertilizer.  I made sure it received the right type and amount of sunlight.

This required copious amounts of research, as I am naturally a plant slayer- not a plant player.  Maybe my acrylic nails block the green-thumb gene.  Or maybe, that gene is recessive and totally skipped my generation. Either way- I am the Dr Kervorkian of the plant world, plants come to me for help with dying, not living.

Daily I checked the fruit. And daily, my heartbreak grew.  Instead of growing and plumping to perfection, each fruit slowly deteriorated.  First, they puckered and drooped, then flattened, moldered and finally: rotted.

I reviewed all my research materials.  I’d done everything by the book:

  • Water- check
  • Sunlight- check
  • Fertilizer- check
  • Temperature- check
  • Soil- Check

Well. Almost everything.

See- I wanted fresh tomatoes and when I went to the grocer they had beautiful, but not quite ripe, tomatoes. I brought them home, tied them onto a tiny christmas tree, and tended them to (what I thought was) perfection. I thought they’d finish growing and I’d soon have the plump red fruit I craved.

Not so much.

Ridiculous?  Maybe. Evidence of my plant induced-idiocy?  Probably.

I bet I’m not the only guilty party.

Oh please, don’t pretend you’ve never done it.

Maybe it wasn’t tomatoes..  If you’re like me- maybe it was another type of fruit.  The fruit of the spirit, that you tied on and hoped would grow.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22

For years I read this list as my personal “To Be” list. (A little like a “to do” list, but infinitely harder to complete.) I tore it apart and tied on tiny unripe tomatoes of the spirit…

I tried to be loving, I became: annoying.

I tried to be joyful: I walked around grinning. I looked psychotic.

I tried to be peaceful, my best effort was closer to denial.

My attempts at patience made me grind my teeth until a TMJ flare up drove me to the ER for Vicodin. (This made me kind of peaceful in a stoned, not so much a holy spirit- way.  Which is not the same thing.)

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