I stroll across the driveway, the basket swinging from my right hand. I walk to the far side of the garden having decided to start at the opposite end today. Halfway down the first row, pink tomatoes peek out from behind lush green leaves. The smile tugs a little tighter on my lips.
As I walk up the next row, my eyes begin to scan the pea plants searching for the dark purple hue of the mature pods. In the distance I hear the low rumble of summer thunderheads. The smile on my face grows a quarter of an inch, at least.
I wander through the squash vines which look as if they are about ready to give up the ghost. I tug at any fruit that appears ripe enough for the kitchen. Tucked under a large squash leaf is a stray cucumber that has 'escaped' its place and managed to remain hidden until it rivals in girth and length anything that has grown this season. My smile grows; a little more visible to anyone who might be watching.
Though the sun is shining and the heat is pressing in, I begin to hear the light "spit, spit, spit" of raindrops on the elephant-like okra leaves behind me. The drops get larger as I valiantly search for the perfect sized cucumbers. I see the leaves begin to shake and I hear them rattle as the rain drips all around me. My smile grows wide.
With sweat on my brow and my basket filled with the fruit of our labors, I swing open the back door and allow the cool air from inside to wash over me. As I begin to prep the fresh squash for our dinner, I listen to the rain pouring onto the roof, and I notice the smile is still there.
"The kiss of the sun for pardon,
The song of the birds for mirth,
One is nearer God's heart in a garden
Than anywhere else on earth."
by: Dorothy Frances Gurney
(This verse hung in my Grandma Fulton's kitchen for as long as I can remember. Since writing this post on Monday, I haven't been able get the quote out of my head.)