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Strawberry Picking = Summer

Posted by on Jul 23, 2013 in My Blog | Leave a comment

Few things say “summer” more than picking strawberries. Lucky for us, there’s a strawberry farm near my parent’s cottage on the French Riverright outside Noelville, that’s been around for about 30 years.  We’ve been going there almost as long.  Believe me, they have their stuff down.

NoelvilleSignweb

StrawberryRoadweb

This Row is Yours!

We arrived, baskets in hand, and were assigned a row by the friendly owners of the farm with the instruction to go as far as we wanted down our row. All we had to do was mark where we stopped with a provided stick (an arrow in another life), so the next person would know where to start.

FieldWalkweb

StrawberryFieldweb

The Sweetness.

On a beautiful summer morning, I settled down in a row next to my Mom and looked at my two big empty baskets. For you berry pickers out there, you know that an empty berry basket can be daunting. I looked over the baskets at the long row ahead of me, but instead of feeling the weight of what was to come, I felt the sun on my back, inhaled the sweet scent of the berries, and listened to the birds serenade us. In that moment, that empty basket seemed symbolic of a beautiful summer day — an empty vessel waiting to be filled with things you love so that, in the end, it’s overflowing with juicy sweetness and the warm glow of the sun.  Sigh.

strawberrybasketweb

The Bitterness.

But, as I made my way down the row I realized I wasn’t as blissed-out as I was when I started.  Perplexed, I stopped, sitting back on my heels, wondering where the sweetness had gone.  As I squinted down the row, I realized that nothing had changed but my thoughts. I realized that even in this perfect setting, my mind had turned to thoughts about the past and worries about the future.  And the worst part was that I was not present for the beauty that was around me.  Darn!

FieldTreeweb

The Sweetness Again.

I purposefully turned my attention to the task at hand — the simple pleasure of plucking a berry from its stem, the hollow popping sound as it released into my hand, the overripe ones spilling juice into my palm.

I made my way down my row, consciously enjoying one of the sweet pleasures of summer – an unhurried summer morning with my Mom, surrounded by strawberries.

Momweb

The other nice surprise was the price.  Four baskets = $13.  You can’t beat that!