Our Blackberry Harvest

A watercolor painting of leaves and blackberries

The bushes were filled with the joyful fruit we’d been talking about since November. Last night while passing them we said we’d come back tomorrow and pick some of the ripe ones (Thinking there were only going to be a few).

We actually didn’t want to go out this evening – when I said “Let’s take a turn around the block” we’d both been thinking to stay in. Once outside we walked passed the bushes again, took out a plastic bag from one of our pockets and picked one. And one more. And there that one looks really big. Until we were gathering fruit for fifteen minutes and we were still not done. 

I felt restless staying here while there were still so many full bushes along the path, so with some effort we walked on. Some bushes had nice, big blackberries, while on others they looked small and dry. We only picked the plumb ones. 

We forgot the time. We exclaimed “wow, look at this one.” We were pricked. We had little splinters in our fingers, but we kept going. Until we were unsure how long the bags would be able to hold this first harvest. 

Walking home, holding the bags like newborns in our arms, we felt blessed. We’d walked out of the house without any expectation and we had forgotten about our vow to pick the berries today. Yet it felt like the vow was heard by someone else, who knew it would do us good and mysteriously brought us here.  

On later days we looked in other places, but nowhere was as good as that particular spot of the first yield. A couple of times we went back there to bring home more berries, and every time again there were more than we could take. Standing in front of a bush I would feel undecided, wondering which ones to pick first as they all looked good. 

We talked about this and were reminded of God’s providence. That His blessings are available in abundance. That you might need to remove some thorns that are in the way, and move carefully past the nettles. But there it is, in abundance. More than you can take.

At home we would turn the fruit into jams, curds, pies, cakes and juice. With grateful hearts we would enjoy them.

What a joy such a simple activity can bring.

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