Life Lessons from a Tomato plant.

Scraggly, yet so alive

     How do you face your day? Do you shrink in fear every morning when the alarm clock goes off. “Oh my god, another day, it’s going to suck, oh just ten more minutes of sleep, I can’t face life yet.” Or do you hop out of bed using no alarm clock because you are so pumped that every day is Christmas morning and you can’t wait to face the day? Or maybe you’re in between those two extremes. We all have our own way of facing life. There is no one size fits all in the game of life. There are really no rules at all. Life can be whatever you want to make it. 

     Sounds far out crazy, right? Only those goofy happy thought people and crazy religious folks believe that nonsense. Like most of you I am somewhere in between extremes. I am not a crazy happy person, but I am happy. I am not crazy religious but I am spiritual. I also believe that nature has an answer for all of our problems. You have to be willing to slow down and observe. When you start observing your natural surroundings you will begin to see life in a slower, more flowing way. 

     If you are one of my religious friends whether you are Christian, Hebrew, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, or anything in between, your religious doctrines bottom line says that you need to face adversity head on, fearless, with total faith in a positive outcome. If the first outcome is less than you expected, you are to know with absolute confidence that you will eventually succeed in your desires. Your beliefs dictate how you must face the day. Your choice is to face the day in anticipation of what god throws your way, knowing that everything is a learning experience, and everything will work out in the end. . 

     To my non-religious friends, you wake up everyday and face whatever the world brings your way. Whether you believe it or not, you are facing your fears. You have no choice. Life still comes at you no matter what. You cannot hide from it. The choice you have to make is how you face the day. It is your job to know with absolute confidence, that whatever comes your way will be a learning experience, and you must learn the lesson, or repeat it until you do. 

     I want to share a story with you about my Miracle Tomatoes. Florida is a challenging environment for tomato plants. Especially on my little patio. In the winter, the best climate for tomatoes, I only receive 2-4 hours of sunlight a day. Tomatoes need at least 6 – 8 hours for optimal growth. The summer, when I receive the required 6 – 8 hours of sunlight, Florida’s heat and humidity soars (not ideal tomato weather). The aphids, spider mites appear in droves looking for plants to devour. It rains, sometimes torrential downpours every day. This is not making the tomatoes happy. 

     With all of these challenges facing me, I wake up one day in the fall, and another day in the spring, yes twice a year, and I go and plant my tomatoes. Every year my tomatoes provide a bounty of fruit. Yes I fertilize and diligently care for them. But I also acknowledge the greater power, how amazing the plants are. I say, or sometimes just think, “wow, thank you for some amazing plants. Thanks for my Miracle Tomatoes.” I am grateful for the plants and the fruits they will provide. 

     Seriously, look at the pictures this poor plant has had, mites, blight, aphids, white fly, worms, too much water, and now heat and humidity. Look how little it is hanging on to life with. Yet, look at all the tomatoes it is still providing. This is my 4th harvest from this plant. It just keeps facing adversity and succeeding. It can’t get up and move like you. Nope, the miracle plant just adapts and pushes on regardless of what life throws at it. I will tell you a fact. This is how all my tomatoes grow. Scraggly and yet full of life. 

     My life has never been perfect. You might even call it scraggly and without purpose. Today I am still scraggly, but everyday I wake up knowing that my health is great, I will learn something new during the day. I will be grateful for many things throughout the day. I will try to do something to make a dream (or goal) of mine come closer to fruition. I know that I might get punched in the face and fall down. But I am certain that when I get back up, and I will get back up, that I will be stronger for learning what not to do. 

     If your life is feeling kind of scraggly, and you’re not seeing a straight path ahead of you. I suggest you take some quiet time in nature and just allow answers to come to you. When you allow the universe, or god to just flow through nature and through you, the answers will just show up . Don’t fight it. You should just simply let the answers flow to you. 

     Just like the miracle tomatoes, who do nothing but push forward in an extremely negative environment, and yet are succeeding beyond my expectations. You too can push through your environment and succeed beyond your current beliefs. You simply need to relax and let life show you the way. You obviously need to steer the ship, as it were. You need to be vocal about your desires, dreams, and wishes (goals). Let the world know what you really want. Then let it happen. Sounds really easy, and it is fairly simple in theory. So don’t get discouraged if you don’t feel immediate success with allowing the flow to guide you. Keep “not” trying, and the answers will come. 

     Life will never be perfect. If you take the cue from nature, from my pear tomatoes, nothing in nature, including us is perfect. The trick is for you to realize that what life is giving you is the opportunity to find more perfection. Realizing that in reality, everything that happens to you is an opportunity for growth. Face life’s adversity head on, fearless and confident in your ability to not just survive, but to thrive. 

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