Normally Friday Food day is funny, entertaining, and pithy. But today I am left with a more reflective attitude. For today, I had an experience that has left me contemplative and introspective. This morning after cooking my Shabbos meal, I got dressed and headed to my aunt’s house to see my uncle who is quite ill. Unfortunately, my cousin called me this week with the news that his illness has taken a turn for the worse and suggested I come for a visit.
Upon turning the bend up to my aunt and uncle’s home one is struck with the beauty of their garden that surrounds their entire abode. The scent of lavender, anise plants, basil leaves and rosemary covers the ground. Their pride and joy has always been their magnificent fruit trees. Pomegranates, tomatoes, figs, dates, blood oranges, key limes, Meyer lemons, you name it, they have it growing. My uncle’s garden has always been his pride and joy.
My cousin took me through the garden and allowed me to pick their magnificent fruit and fragrant herbs. As we picked the oranges off the tree we remembered our shared childhood experience of picking the many oranges, tangerines, and lemons that scattered our great grandparents’ garden. Nothing was more fun than going to Grandma and Grandpa’s for a fruit picking fest and nothing bonded us more when we were children as it bonded us again today.
There is something special about the legacy my uncle will leave behind. When he moved in all that surrounded their house was a dirt path. But with a little love and care, my uncle and aunt managed to create one of the most impressive home grown organic gardens in all of Thousand Oaks.
The memories shared around the dinner table over delicious kumquats and berry pie is what life is truly about. While you are gathered together tonight around your Friday night tables, be grateful for the bounty you have gathered to partake in, and know that each good deed, every seed that is planted, metaphorically speaking or physically speaking is the very legacy we all leave behind to nourish the world even in our absence.
I think I may go buy a plant.