The black raspberries have finished, and now the blackberries are on in full force. When we bought this property, more than one person asked what we were going to do with the woods. There hadn’t been a house here for years, so this spot was known as a great blackberry-picking spot. No one wanted us to bulldoze the bush and take out all those berry bushes.
While our house was being built, people still stopped to pick, but now that we live here, they’ve left them for us to enjoy. We have enough that we can sometimes invite friends to gather berries for their families, too. Long sleeves and long pants are a must, for protection from thorns and ticks, and the occasional raspberry beetle finds its way into the bucket, but it’s always worth a few mosquito bites to be able to savour blackberries in our morning smoothies in January.
My great-grandmothers had to spend their summers putting food away for the winter so they could be sure their families would have enough to eat. I’m glad I don’t have to work that hard, but I appreciate God’s generosity enough to get out there and make the effort. Even after I’ve picked as much as we need, there are still plenty of berries left out there for the birds and the ants, so, it feels like I’m not being overly selfish. In the winter, as I watch the cardinals perching on the bare branches of those blackberry bushes in the snow, I can remember the sun-drenched days of August and smile.