On a corner lot sits a bright pink and turquoise adobe style home. The kind of home that beckons for your attention, yet sits quietly, settled into the earth as cars go rushing by. The other day I found myself stopped at a redlight lost in thought. The few seconds I had to spare before the light turned green and life began rushing by again, I glanced over. Pink and turquoise stucco. A single cactus in a delicate white planter sitting on the front porch. A type of small bush-like tree blooming a wonderful red mystery from its branches. “Look,” I said to my friend in the driver’s seat, “that tree is growing tomatoes.” As if I had two green thumbs that had planted a magical field of tomato trees somewhere in the wilderness. Row after row. My friend laughed, “Um, yeah those are definitely pomegranates, not tomatoes.” The light turned green and off we went. Right, pomegranates, because those thrive much better growing on trees than tomatoes do. Pomegranates, that fruit I buy when I’m feeling adventurous at the grocery store because I know when I get home my patience will be tested when I embark on picking out all the tiny seeds. A red pomegranate juice stained bamboo cutting board will be left resting on the kitchen counter after the victory.
Pomegranates, not tomatoes.
Tomatoes are what my grandfather would pluck from his backyard garden. Polishing the plump thing on his flannel that smelled like a New Mexico rainstorm. Taking a bite like it was a delicious candy apple, motioning for me to do the same. Younger me held a small tomato in my hand, unaware that the thing could taste sweet, hesitantly taking a bite as juice ran freely down my chin. A smile, another tomato picked and added to the bowl that would later rest on the kitchen windowsill.Tomatoes are versatile. They can be diced, dried, fried, roasted and sliced. Swimming in summer pasta, resting in between two toasty buns holding a juicy burger, pureed into soup that warm chunks of bread can dive into. Pomegranates are wild. Needing to be cracked, peeled and plundered for the seeds of tangy sweetness that nestle deep inside. Pomegranates take work, tomatoes take creativity.
I think sometimes God hands us tomatoes and sometimes He tosses us a pomegranate. Sometimes all life needs is a little creativity, a choice to take a step back from the mundane, from the nine to five. To see the moments that can be diced, dried, fried, roasted and sliced into something wonderful. To take what you have, in this exact moment, and create something life-giving out of your plain tomato. To be thankful for that chance to create something unique out of the ordinary. To get up a few minutes early, put the phone down, and sit at the kitchen table, deciding in those waking morning moments to dig your roots deep, planting seeds that will hopefully produce the kind of fruit that yields “…love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control…” Galatians 5:22-23 NLT. To see the worth in your work, to ask about the cashier’s day at the grocery store, to rest.
But then, a pomegranate.
Tough, rough around the edges, needing to be shaped and formed in order to get to the core. Asking for your patience and trust. These are the moments when you feel stretched thin, but you remember a promise: “Count it all joy, my brothers and sisters, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness” James 1:2-3 NLT. Sometimes life takes patience and steadfastness, trusting God that as you are cracked and peeled in this season there are seeds of goodness waiting on the other side. To be faithful with the nine to five. To listen, to pray, to believe. To know that seasons come and go. To embrace the fruit you have been dealt as an opportunity for growth. To lean into the Maker, the Creator of pomegranates and tomatoes.
Hey there, I’m Casey! I am a firm believer in capturing authentic, joy-filled moments. As a Wedding and Lifestyle Photographer freezing moments in time is a major creative outlet for me, but writing has always been in my bones. Most days you can find me working up at my local church, ending the day cuddled up with my sweet husband, hot cup of tea in my hand, watching The Office, or any Texas A&M athletic event. (Gig ‘Em!!!) I call Texas home but love to travel and experience new places. Jesus changed my heart and because of Him I live life with purpose chasing after His promises and striving to find joy in the mundane. Come hangout with me on Instagram @caseycortines or visit my website www.caseycortines.com!