Friday, July 23, 2010
It’s berry picking time in the Adirondacks. At least it appeared that way to me during my recent visit to our camp in Loon Lake. The road into the camp is bordered by raspberry bushes that were showing spots of ripe red berries. On my walk down to the lake I also noticed a neighbor’s front yard filled with blueberry bushes and a crop just ripe for picking. I have to admit to sampling a few berries just to make sure they were ready
Seeing these wild berries reminded me of the summers my mother would load up the car with buckets and bring us all out to pick blueberries. I just hated that time of year. I moaned and groaned the whole time and rarely picked more than a cup of berries. It was so disheartening to hear the drop of those small berries in the bucket – plunk, plunk, plunk. I was told that we could go home when I had picked a full quart. I never could pick a quart but I got to go home anyway.
Feeling a little nostalgic, I decided to try my hand at berry picking. Maybe I would have more success as an adult. I donned my sun hat and equipped myself with a variety of cups and a basket to help me carry what I hoped to be lots and lots of berries. Up to the power lines I headed where there are always lots of blueberries to be found. It was a beautiful day. The sights, sounds and smells were mesmerizing and I found myself pausing to take deep breaths and marvel at the scenery.
I was encouraged when I immediately found a few bushes and picked a handful berries. Unfortunately, that was where my luck ended. Up and down the path I went searching for more blueberry bushes. Not finding any, I decided to switch tactics and pick raspberries since they seemed so plentiful. Wouldn’t you know, as soon as.
I made that decision the abundance of raspberries seemed to disappear before my very eyes. The most accessible bushes no longer offered me juicy berries to pick. The best berries were now located deep in the tangle of thorny bushes just out of reach. I couldn’t help but think of Brer Rabbit in his little house in the briar patch. No way was I going in there!
True to my younger self, I not only didn’t pick a quart of berries, I didn’t even pick a cup! There has to be a lesson in this experience. I think that it may be that desire for an object is directly related to the ability to obtain it. The berries within my reach were just not good enough while the ones just beyond were the absolute best. Well anyway, I brought my mother my meager offering. After all, it’s the thought that counts!