Monday Moment - Lessons from Berry Picking

  • I have a love/hate relationship with the wild black raspberries that grow around the perimeter of my home. I love their taste and the memories they evoke of the red raspberries my mom picked and served nearly every summer day of my childhood. I even love going out to pick berries. Sort of. It reminds me why they are so darned expensive to purchase! It’s not quite the idyllic berry-picking picture peddled by children’s literature, that’s for sure!

    To pick raspberries, I arm myself with long pants and long sleeves, a hat, and lots of bug spray on any exposed and all other body surfaces. So armed, in the midst of summer, one has to get an early start before the heat of the day becomes too oppressive. And still, thorns prick my hands and through my clothing, and mosquitoes buzz past my hat and the OFF to bite at tender flesh. So the love is obviously deep to wade through the hate portion of my raspberry relationship.

    The past two Sunday mornings I’ve braved the hate to spend an hour plus picking berries. And between the scratches and the buzzes, a few life lessons conjured themselves in front of my eyes. Here are a few things berry-picking teaches me.

    - The juiciest berries often appear to be just out of reach. It’s good to stretch oneself to reach these jewel-like orbs, but before you turn away, you should also look down. It’s likely another glistening treasure is right in front of you, overlooked momentarily by the lure of the nearly unattainable.
    - Inevitably, some of the ripest, lushest berries will fall from your picking hand before you can deliver them to your bucket. Might as well learn to say, “Oh well.”
    - Some berries will be a day too ripe or a day not ripe enough (or an hour if you’re more conscientious than I and get out there picking more frequently.) Might as well learn to say, “Oh well.”
    - Birds will sing and church bells may peal while you’re occupied with berries. Might as well enjoy them.
    - Property lines tend to blur while picking berries, so it’s wise to be on good terms with your neighbors.
    - The endeavor will leave you with scratches and bites, but you’ll have a bucket of berries to show for it – as well as time with the singing birds and church bells.
    - A little sugar helps take the tartness out of the berries – and makes the reward all the sweeter.

    What life lessons can you eke out of what seems like a mundane chore? Here’s wishing you such experiences in the coming week!



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