Friday, 9 July 2010

Ode to the berry

There are two joys in our house this time of year.

Our almost daily trip to the berry farm just two miles down the road brings us such simple delight. Whenever we pass by, we stop. Sometimes we get an ice cream. Sometimes we bring home a punnet of berries. Sometimes we just like to go and be in the space of awaiting ripeness.

Sounds kind of silly, I know, but this berry farm represents a deep joy that we find in waiting for something really special to us: the strawberry, the raspberry. These sun soaked fruits remind us that summer is here, that long days bring sun energy, that the color red, in all its variety, is absolute beauty. The taste in our mouths as the juice falls into our taste buds calls us to remember how a favorite food nourishes the soul. To savor becomes an act of worship. And all the ice cream and jam making is our attempt to celebrate its pure taste.

But there is another berry joy too.

This one is blueberry joy and it has to do with a special blueberry hill. These blueberries we find are wild, uncultivated, and free. It is a different type of joy. We become the watchers day in and day out (like our beloved berry farmer who gives us an update each day about how long til ripeness); we notice and monitor these tiny treasures. We are wild gatherers and we look for ripeness.

But even though we are not surprised by the presence of these blueberry bushes, we find ourselves giddy with surprised joy when we notice it is time to pick, to eat, and to mark our fingers with purple juice. It is a simple marking that says, "we are wild and uncultivated and free."

But there is even a deeper blueberry joy that fills me. Finding fruits in the wild, knowing that they belong to all who pay attention, seeing where the fruit comes from, the type of leaves it has, how low or how high it is on the ground, makes a difference to how I enjoy what I eat. With the blueberry I become that much closer to its magical source. I am grounded and I have also found heaven in its ripe, round, and full form.


  1. Such attention Nicki. It's not the same as walking into a grocery store and buying the berries. Your family's connection with Mother Earth is so tender here, and to taste her tart sweetness sounds divine.

    May your family continue to taste such wonders and be present to all the joys in life.

  2. I am such a fan of berries, and especially wild berries.
    We just feasted on the first of the wild serviceberries this weekend. Those plump little fruits feel like a distillation of the sun, rain and mountain soil.

    So nice that you have several types of blueberry joy!

  3. Nicki, my mouth is watering at your description of these berries... and, oh, the memories it brings up! We're enjoying a harvest of watermelon and peaches here, delicious too, but not growing wild like the blueberries!! I love how you've reminded us all to pause and savour.
    Love & hugs xxxx