“Lord, it is good for us to be here!” Luke 9:33
Click here for a mountaintop experience with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
I ate my first real tomato today. Now, don't get me wrong. I've eaten tomatoes before. But last week, I ate my first native tomato, grown right at the local farm, not shipped here from California or Costa Rica in the dead of winter! And nothing is more delicious than a "real" native tomato: it tastes like the Earth, sweet, full of flavor. For a couple of special weeks in late July and August, the experience is one of those mountaintop experiences to be treasured! Ah, summertime in New England!
As I get older, I try more and more to savor those mountaintop experiences, because, after all, who really knows how many more of those we have? Whether it's eating a real tomato, or time spent with my Mom, or an evening out with friends…watching the sunset at the beach, or warming myself by a campfire… enjoying the beauty of a rose trellised alongside the church wall, or watching a couple married more than 30 years strolling hand in hand at a concert like two newlyweds ... or delighting in new parents bringing their child to church for the first time (and making it all the way through Mass without too much noise!) ... watching my niece and nephew playing by the lake, or my other nephew engrossed in reading a book about dinosaurs ...
All of these moments in time, and so many more are all "mountaintop experiences": the kind that make you catch your breath, and wish for a moment that you could just stop time forever.
And then, as fast as it began, the moment is over, and the tomato reveals its worm ... the sunset gives way to darkness ... the campfire dies down ... the baby starts to cry ... the niece and nephew start to fight ...
Thank God for those mountaintop moments: they give us perspective, help us to hold on, and especially give us the courage to face the struggles of our lives confident that the Son always rises. Even though fall is already right around the corner, the tomatoes are now ripe on the vine, and another summer is only a year away.
The French say: Gratitude is the heart's memory. May we always be grateful for the heart's memories of summer and life and love; and when summer and life and love give way to eternity, may we know the one who created the tomato, and the mountain, and the sunset, and the One who is the deepest longing of our hearts.
Photo courtesy of Tony the Misfit via Creative Commons license, Flickr