It was a very large tomato. Heavy, red with orange streaks that were changing colours like the leaves on the trees these days. I found it at one of the lovely farmgates in my community and I kept it on the counter for a few days, letting it ripen more. Well, the truth is, it was such a beautiful tomato I could not bring myself to slice into it.
But whether I ate it or not, the tomato was on it’s way to nothingness, I suppose. So I ate it.
But, before I did, I found myself stopping to pay attention to what I had in my hand, and to appreciate, truly appreciate at a deep level, this amazing fruit. I thought of how it had grown – starting as a pretty yellow flower that the bees would visit, and from that emerged a round little green ball, which grew larger and larger as the days grew warmer. It obviously was a vigorous tomato and it soaked up the rains and the sun until it was large and firm and started turning colour. I thought about how it had been plucked from it’s branch, and how it came to be in my hand. I smelled it, felt the smoothness of the shiny skin, tested its firmness and noticed the weight in my hand. And then I did an impromptu prayer of gratitude for having received this amazing bounty.
This all came naturally to me, this flowing appreciation and celebration of my world, my life.
I thought about it later… how easily and thoroughly I was able to connect my spirit with the greater life force around me, and I thought about how this is rather a new thing for me. At least the clarity of my spirituality is. I would bump around with things before, but now…. well, it’s like having lived with allergies, being all clogged up, and then finding I can breathe free and easily.
Why? Because I am living IN my body finally.
There are many ways we end up living uncomfortably with our own bodies – illness, assaults, traumas, and in my case, being born with the wrong gendered body. Often when we are in this displaced state we can feel the wrongness, feel the pain, sadness, frustration and anger. We sometimes turn to drugs and alcohol, or risky behaviour, to either numb us or to try and wake us from that numb state. That just makes it worse, though. We spiral down and down, and our spirits cannot see out of our windows because they are spinning too quickly.
I have come a long way with my own body, come to a lot of acceptance and love of self. To do that I did have to use medical science to change it and I will do more because I know I need to. There are still windows spinning around my spirit that need to be steadied. My social transition has also helped me accept and love my body, because I am now seen the way I truly am, and my gender conflicts are lessened. It is easier to love myself, and thus easier to touch the divine love that courses through all that is beautiful and profound in life.
Being true to my spirit, forgiving all the wrongness within and without, has been the key to opening the door to my spiritual path. It has allowed me to find gratitude in all things and to truly celebrate the gift of a lovely red tomato.