Monday, July 19, 2010

First Fruits: The Labor of a Wanderer

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I have been dutifully watering two thriving tomato plants for the last month. I keep my flip flops by the back door and wander out onto the deck at some point every day to shower the plants in an attempt to keep them healthy, to help them grow, to give them what they need to produce fruit.

Fruit I will likely never eat.

I have been living out of a suitcase for over two months now, making piles of clothing on the floor, organizing and reorganizing and further organizing our belongings as we move from room to room for temporary house sitting stays.

We have been blessed with places to stay as we hunt for a more permanent home, but in the mean time I am constantly reminded--by baby tomatoes and kitchens in which I can't find a spatula--that I am completely unsettled and will be on to a new place with a new kitchen in just a few weeks.

In addition to my pursuit of tomatoes has been my pursuit of a job. And much like my recent gardening is my career: the fruit often comes when I am out of the picture, when the students are out of my classroom, when they grow up and move on and happen to remember their eccentric English teacher, maybe they send me a letter, or shoot me an e-mail, but most of the time flourish and bloom far out of my view.

And most of the time I am okay with that.

Watching my students, much like the golden flowers on the vine, is done with much hope and expectation for the future. And even though I don't always see that future, I am constantly reminded that the outcome is not always what is important. Sure, it is most measurable, and often most visible, but sometimes being faithful in meaningful work is just as important--maybe more important--than whether the flower ever becomes fruit.

1 comment:

  1. I miss you. My life lately has been busy, full of things away from my computer and I'm struggling to find the time to jot a few lines a week on my own blog. But I love your words always and am always glad when I find time to sit and read them. Good luck with the job hunt, any school would be lucky to have you!

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