My mom called to tell me that she had an abundance of blackberries out at her place if I wanted to stop by and pick some. YUM!! I got up bright and early to make the short trek out to the country. She’s got a beautiful place (Troy and I were married there) and it was a gorgeous morning for being outdoors.
I am a blackberry picking virgin so when I showed up in shorts and a tank top, carrying a small bag, my mom just shook her head and told me to wait there. She came back out with long sleeve flannel shirt and a bucket. “You’ll need these”. I did.
The berries were plump and ripe. They practically burst when went to pick them. Each cluster of berries is fiercely protected by a branch covered in tiny thorns. The prickly thorns grabbed and tore at my old flannel shirt. Although they scratched and pulled on my worn cotton sleeves, my arms, for the most part remained unscathed – Thanks mom. My fingers on the other hand received their share of pricks. Since they were stained red and purple with juices from the berries, I’m not sure if they bled. It’s probably better that way.
I stood out there in the row of bushes, listening to the swallows and the buzz of various insects and thought of many parables. I felt like Solomon as I pondered on the lessons that picking blackberries can teach us. Of course now that I’m back home they have all escaped me, something about the sweetest berries being hidden in the deepest, thorniest parts of the bushes and how you have to reach through, knowing you will probably get pretty scratched up but the reward being worth it. Yes, country air turns me into a philosopher.
After I had collected a bucket full. I went back up to the house to sit on the porch with my mom and step-dad. They were reading the paper and enjoying the cool summer morning. I sat and looked out over the countryside trying to soak it all in before I left. There is a garden on the hill by the porch, and I was fascinated by a small humming bird feeding on the nectar from the orange trumpet flowers. I’d never seen one before. I grabbed my phone to take a picture, but my mom said not bother that it would never stay around long enough. This time she was wrong. it not only stayed but as I crouched down to snap a photo. It came over to me and started curiously buzzing around my head. It was magical. I got a great pic that makes the little guy look like regular sized bird, but in actuality he was barely the size of my thumb!
What a perfect morning! Now I’m off to search Blackberry recipes. I’m thinking cobbler.