I don’t feel much like eating or cooking any more. That’s why I’m shopping for an assisted living/hospice place. I dislike spending my declining energy on the mundane tasks which have become so difficult to accomplish these days. By the time I prepare a nourishing, immune system-boosting meal, I’m too exhausted to eat it. The act of chewing, the difficulty swallowing, everything takes energy.
Today I was hungry and decided to scramble two eggs in a little olive oil with herbs and dice up a fresh tomato waiting in the bowl on my counter. It has waited quite a while and I worried that it would be soft and not palatable. But no, when I lifted it, it was cool from the morning breeze in my kitchen window, its flesh was firm and smooth, nothing but a tiny gray spot that I would cut out.
My grandmother taught me to love peeled tomatoes. To this day I don’t care for tomatoes that are unpeeled if I’m going to eat them raw. So of course, I ran the hot water over it for a minute or so and scored the skin at the bottom with a knife. From there the skin peeled back, the gray spot went with the skin, and a tiny green sprout poked up as it was released. I sliced through the tomato beside the sprout and was amazed at what was revealed. Inside the seed pockets were tiny sprouted seeds, some with a leaf forming, most with a long sprout reaching out. Inside the mature, dying tomato, life was still being created, silent and hidden.
I thought about my own maturity and how this finite life seems to be drawing to a close; but what if, within me, the seeds of another life are silently growing, getting ready for a new birth and a new, if different life? Could life be instead, an infinite circle, without real end or beginning, just a revolution, new from old—forever?