Monday, August 06, 2012

Time of Tomatoes

Before the storm came I gathered tomatoes.  The plants are towering now and I have to be careful not to trip over the low hanging vines.  I need to crawl under and work hard to reach  those red globes and I gather them in my shirt, too many to carry.  In the afternoon I brought them in and removed the skins, then chopped them and simmered them down to put in the freezer for winter soups.  I do this every summer.

This summer I am thinking of Arielle.  It was her special day--August 4th--and I remember right before we left for China fourteen years ago my mother and I were hurriedly gathering tomatoes and cooking them down for the freezer, knowing I would be gone for two weeks and even when I returned, would I be concerned about tomatoes?  Fred had just had surgery.  He couldn't do these things.  So instead of packing, my mom and I were picking tomatoes and I was longing for the first glimpse of my daughter's face.

Arielle was at camp this past week.  We did not hear from her at all, and I did not call her.  (I did send e-mails and a couple of letters.)  I knew that someone would call me, if needed, but this was her week away.  She is training to be a counselor, working under an adult, with a cabin full of preteen girls.  Not my cup of tea!  But Arielle loves this sort of thing.  She is responsible and loving, compassionate and patient, perfect for the role.

It was a long, long week.  I missed her so much.  We had Lana here a couple of days and we had some sewing students come over, and Liana and I had a great sewing day making tote bags for the new school we'll all be attending in September.  But I am uneasy without Arielle.  I long to see her face.

On Saturday, Arielle special day, Liana and I drive to church at the appointed time for picking up the returning campers.  I see Arielle from the road among the crowd of children.  She sees us too.  She is glowing bronze from the sun, a shining star among all the others, that big smile on her beautiful face.  My daughter!  Then she is in my arms for a big hug.  I remember a hug long ago, when I first saw her face.  She lay her baby head on my shoulder and she was forever mine.  

Arielle bubbles over telling me about her week. She has had a great time.  Then a child runs up to tell me, "Arielle is the BEST counselor I EVER had!"  I share my daughter with the world and she brings joy to others.

My daughter is home.  I am content. More tomatoes to pick today.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

we need to visit! I need to catch up on your life.