I have a watermelon patch in my front yard. It's very big, and it's winding its way around the basil plants, making friends with the mint, and trying to intimidate the thorny rose bushes. My cabbage is beginning to cower at the melons might, but all it does is make me giggle.
First of all, baby watermelons are just about the cutest thing in the world. They are right up there with basset hound puppies and travel-sized toiletries, and I want to slice their wee striped rinds open and see if there are doll-sized watermelon seeds within.
But I wait.
I'm not a patient person, so this is no small feat. I'm impatient in my career as well, never sitting on a finished record for months, as I'm repeatedly advised to do. No, I can't wait around and hide while I send the CD to publications and collect press quotes. I must record and release and travel and sing. You'd think I'd take a lesson from my watermelon and wait for that tiny seed to blossom and ripen.
The tricky thing with watermelons, however, is knowing when it's sweet enough and ripe enough. They don't sweeten once they are picked, so if picked too-soon, it's only good for carving those fancy fruit salad baskets -- or for composting, if you, like me, haven't yet found your inner Martha Stewart.
I've thumped and smelled and looked and listened, but I'm still no good at knowing when the watermelons are ready. I guess it's much like knowing when to release a record -- you just can't know the exact moment. Of course, the nice thing is that I've got five melons in the yard, so I suppose I can spare one.
I think I'm gonna pick it ... stay tuned.