A while ago I bought a tomato bush at the farmers’ market.
“They love the sun and lots of water,” the vendor told me.
A little guilty regarding the water because we are in a drought, I brought it home.
We watered the plant and put it out it in the sun.
OMG, it took forever!
The tomatoes were green.
And still green.
“Will they ever ripen?” my youngest asked.
“Of course,” I said a little worried myself.
I am no farmer. I am a known plant killer.
Then one day, hiding inside the bush, there was one red one. We rejoiced like the Messiah had arrived.
We picked it, cut it, and it was sweeter than you could imagine!
Last week two of my girls from Juvie graduated high school.
I cannot begin to tell the you the sweet sensation, the triumph and the pride I feel for these brilliant, young women.
Time is an amazing thing! It can heal a broken heart
With the perspective of time, you can really appreciate change.
With time, my children have started to understand the importance of my work.
“It’s okay,” my middle one said and smiled with a twinkle in her eye.
“I get to have you all the time. They need you now.”
Time helps us learn to live with what feels like something we cannot bear.
Time will teach us again and again about the power of love and the power of forgiving.
Time has given me the wisdom to know that now and then it gets tricky.I must be savvy, staying one step ahead, avoid being manipulated yet always making sure I am the light on the dark spots of the path.
Time has taught me that some of my girls will run and not ripen to be the fruit I believe with all of my heart that they can be. I need to let go of that, because time has also shown me the possibility of the most remarkable of accomplishments.
With time we create true, deep relationships. We learn who are really our people and who are the passerby’s.
Only with time can the ripple be created that is so needed to support these girls.
We stood, seven of us, to cheer when they called her name.
My film crew from three years ago,
A graduate from my program,
Her boy friend.
An executive director of a program we connected her with two summers ago,
and A new friend we made at ARC (Anti Recidivism Coalition).
We stood together, excited, watching in the sun,Waiting, happy, and so, so incredibly proud.
The Executive Director said “This is magic!” It was!
Her going to university in the fall.
Everyone supporting her!
You see, here is the deal with my special fruit; it is not over when they ripen.
This is not a one-season deal.
This is just one of many finish lines ahead of her.
One of my magnificent camerawomen will drive her up to Idaho.
Advot will cover the gas.
The other organization will pitch in.
I have lined up another organization to help contribute and countless friends of mine have stepped up.
I look around the dinner table as the plans start to unfold.
I look at this sweet girl who has grown so much , and is so nervous about the future.
“We’ve got you,” I say.
“We’ve got you.”
I look at her and remind her,
“Remember what you said when I met you?
You had just turned 15, and you were incarcerated.
You said you wanted to be someone.
Well, you are, you are someone. Actually, you always have been.”
The other graduate of my program whom I absolutely adore said,
“Damn, Girl, you are going to university! That’s awesome!
I look at the two of them standing under the light in the parking lot of the restaurant where we all ate dinner and it is as if time didn’t pass at all,
and my heart is filled with joy.