A tomato plant in my bedroom?
Watering my plants recently, I started to pull what I thought was a weed and discovered a tomato plant?! Rising out of the tangle of leaves of an unsuspecting house plant, a tomato seedling had sprouted and come alive in my bedroom.
It’s not what you expect to see in February inside your home, but tomatoes are tenacious plants with an uncanny ability to thrive and try to produce fruit wherever, and whenever, they find a little soil.
Back when my husband and I were living in New York City some 25 years ago, we discovered this tomato plant growing out of a brick wall in our East Village neighborhood.
We theorized that someone had thrown a tomato at the wall and one of the seeds had somehow germinated and taken root in a crack. Protected by a basement stairwell and nurtured by the hot breath of a heating grate, the green stems were growing up out of the darkness towards the light.
I never saw anyone tending the plant, or even noticing it on the busy street where people hurried by on their way to work, school, the grocery store and back again.
Walking to the subway each day, I couldn’t wait to check on the plant’s progress, marveling at its ability to grow in such a hostile environment.
At the time, I wanted to leave NYC, and my diary was full of passages questioning what I was doing and where I was going. I wrote this after seeing my reflection in the windows of the skyscrapers as I rushed by to the job I was beginning to loathe.
“Sometimes I catch a glance of myself on the way to work and think who is this person?”
I wanted to make a change, but didn’t know how. Watching the tomato plant grow a little higher each day, produce tiny fruits, and flourish despite the odds, motivated me to start looking for a new job and move.
One day the tomato plant was gone, probably yanked out of the wall by a callous Building Super, but I’ve never forgotten its will to live and how it inspired me during a difficult time.
Finding a new tomato plant growing in my bedroom makes me happy. There is a lot going on in the world right now and think we all have to watch for signs of hope to keep us going.
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