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A blog dedicated to the Source of everything good.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Picking berries

Today I took two of my kids and their friend to pick strawberries. It was a gorgeous day, the berries equally gorgeous. The kids had a great time. Even my three-year-old daughter did a terrific job picking and filled a quart basket all by herself.

What I thought of as we were picking was how much I appreciate this simple occasion that is not really so simple. I think back to the times when, as a girl not much older than my oldest son, I rode my bike down our road to the berry farm, berry baskets bouncing in the handlebar basket. I remember how endless seemed the strawberry fields (and I wasn’t even familiar with the Beatles yet :-) ). The picking was hot, but the reward sweet in withstanding the heat to bring home those succulent berries.

I also thought of a June four years ago when I was on modified bed-rest. I was pregnant with my now three-year-old; things were precarious. It was extremely difficult to avoid quick movements while minding two very active little boys and worrying all the time that -- . The berry picking was forgone that year, which was hard because it was a tradition I’d started with the boys and wanted to pass on – the joy of the harvest, the bounty of God’s earth, of making jam and strawberry pie with one’s own hands at home instead of grabbing it off the shelf at the grocery store. It was the joy of God’s provision, of simple work, of craft: an elemental ritual.

So it was with extra joy that I brought the child who survived that situation four years ago to participate in this year’s annual ritual, mundane and dispensable as it may be in the overall scheme of things. We flushed in the heat of the sun, eagerly plucking and occasionally sampling. The joy held even as said child threw a fit and dumped a basket of berries because I’d already taken the ones she wanted to carry to the car (she didn’t decide this until after I’d made the trek). The kids ate berries all the way home.

My fingers are berry-stained at present and the pie is in the oven :-)


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