My retired friend shared how much it meant to him that his Grandfather would take him into his garden with a couple of salt shakers in order to “test the tomatoes.” He still remembers it all these years later.

I wonder if his Grandfather thought he was doing something that would turn out to be profoundly meaningful when he invited his grandson out to the garden.

My hunch is that he didn’t.

But I’d also bet he was enjoying the moment. It’s such a vivid scene: A grandfather who loves his garden-fresh tomatoes–who’s been anticipating the first ones of the summer as they slowly ripen in the hot sun. With a twinkle in his eye, he grabs the salt and invites his grandson into his own enjoyment. Now it’s about more than delicious tomatoes. It’s about togetherness, and a relationship that makes a small boy feel like he’s helping an important person do something that matters.