I pulled a carrot out of the ground this morning. Deep orange, crooked, its hairs tangled in dirt, its floppy, ferny top dangling crystals of last night's rain.
Carrots from the store taste like semi-sweet fiber.
A carrot from the garden tastes like...eternity.
It's got a hint of bitterness that gives way quickly to a hint of intoxicant, like liqueur. It's got a deep earthiness that is released under the tooth, a taste of the soil and the rain and the hard sun. It's made of the universe.
Religion loves to tell us we must go to the sky when we die, instead of into the soil, and that we must worship a man in the sky rather than a mother beneath our feet who holds us up, feeds us, catches us when we fall, draws us into dance, cradles us when we sleep, and takes us gracefully home when we die to give back the body we have borrowed.
Like billions of gardeners before me, through thousands of generations, I am forced to ask, with my mouth full of the sweet-dirty-complex intoxicant of a just-pulled carrot: "What is holier than this?"