Yesterday I stumbled upon something very unexpected. I was tending my balcony garden by cutting back and removing all of the dead plants. This something I do around this time of year in preparation for putting in colder weather vegetables and plants. Some areas I put to bed and they remain dormant until the Spring.
When I started working on the tomato plants I got a surprise! There was new, vivid green growth on the stems. I was startled because I’ve never seen this before! Even the stems that appeared brown and brittle showed green life inside of them when they were cut. Upon closer inspection some of the plants were blooming. As I made my way around the plants on the balcony I learned that it was only the tomatoes who were experiencing this second life. I also found one tiny new tomato plant growing in another planter.
This small and surprising discovery shook me enough to prompt a deeper reflection. If you know me or having been reading any of my writing, you are aware that Nature informs my way of being in the world. When there is something different or unusual in what I see and experience in Nature I pay attention. Typically there is some deeper message being offered to anyone who is observant. In this instance, I thought, “I’ve never seen this before in all the years of gardening.” I started helping with the garden in my childhood.
What was the new growth of the tomatoes telling me? I have to tell you, it took me awhile to get my mind around the fact that there was new growth happening in a place and time that was unprecedented. I guess it is true for most of us that when something takes us by surprise or shows up in an unexpected fashion we need time to readjust to the reality of what is now, even if it has never been this way before.
Once I got past that, I began to think about the resilience of life. It may appear that things are shriveled and brown but there could be life force deep within. My own life has been like this recently. Parts of me that were sleeping or dormant are finding their way to the surface once again.
There are many factors that contribute to us losing some aspects of our self. At times we may shut down some of the many characteristics within us. Grief can be one of those traumas that send us to a place of withdraw or dormancy.
Happily, the tomatoes have shown that emergence and new growth can take place when and where you least expect it. Increased bounty of these beauties will be a boon to me. I am still pondering how abundance and the bounty of a second harvest may reveal itself. I plan to take this insight deeper as I study and learn more of the attributes of tomato from a totem perspective. Meanwhile, I am delighted to have learned so much about new growth taking place in unexpected places!