So you may wonder…what do those farmers think about and talk about as they do their thing? Yesterday was another rainy day, and Sonya, Andrew, and I were in the greenhouse for most of the morning, stringing twine for the newly planted cherry tomato plants and starting the first round of trellising and pruning on those plants. The conversation wandered all over…the most recent Lydia anecdotes, book recommendations, a rant or two about twine’s amazing ability to tangle itself up, especially when conditions are wet, etc. Perhaps inevitably, we got onto the topic of the Rapture (that’s happening tomorrow, by the way…better get a haircut and wear clean underwear) and the very nature of God him (or her) self. What if heaven is boring? In the words of the Talking Heads song, “a place where nothing ever happens?” What if God turns out to be a Greater Prairie Chicken? Or, more disturbingly, a tomato horn worm? (We farmers, who have dispatched many a horn worm from this farm, would have some explaining to do.) What’s it all about? Maybe heaven is right here, right now, on Earth, in the small pleasures and miracles of everyday life…productive labor, a lover’s touch, my daughter’s laughter, good food and good company, a birdsong, a sunrise, a sunset, caring for tomato plants inside a greenhouse on a rainy day. On the subject of the Rapture, I’m reminded of lines from Robert Frost’s “Birches”:
I’d like to get away from earth awhile
And then come back to it and begin over.
May no fate willfully misunderstand me
And half grant what I wish and snatch me away
Not to return. Earth’s the right place for love:
I don’t know where it’s likely to go better.