Blueberry picking is a July priority for me. After years of lingering on my bucket list, I can hardly wait each summer for what has become an almost spiritual experience. Not because a nun took me on my first adventure (smile) but because of the percolating glee I feel high on a serene hilltop, in blue sky sunshine, and with Nature at her finest. (I still return to the same patch year after year for the last 10 years.)
While digging out the berry basket from the barn and laying out my wide brimmed straw hat, that internal little kid exhilaration swells. Still, I wasn’t sure what I would find at the blueberry patch this year after this summer’s heavy downpours and high humidity. I arrived a few weeks later than usual but it continued to offer that meditative experience I’ve grown to love. Take a walk with me on this quotidian delight of keying into nature’s surrounds:
Standing in the row of blueberry bushes, I focus on the quiet. Ah, so lovely. No other voices to be heard. Then the vitalizing call of a Wood Thrush…followed by a bustling bee in a nearby bush…and then the wind.
The variable sounds of the wind fascinate me, rustling through trees, upturning leaves as if rain is on the way…then quickly slowing to a dilly-dallying dance to soothe the heat of this 80 something degree day. Ah, the breeze, the sunlight, the reprieve…my heart burgeons with gratitude to be in nature’s heaven for sure.
Somewhere below the extensive berry patch, I hear cars whooshing through the canopied, curvy country road…no blaring car horns…just the energy, the motion of the moment.
As I weave in and out of rows of blueberry bushes, my eyes darting, my arms reaching for robust purplish blues…some varieties are smaller, some plump.
Some berries are still green in waiting while wetness diminished others.
A lawnmower’s drone pokes through the nirvana but is unoffensive. Its repetitious white noise is a comforting sound of summer that I’ve loved all my life. The savory orchestration is now complete.
So intent on seeking ripe berries, what a surprise then to see a delicate Morning Glory-like flower staring me in the face as if to say, “Hello.” I smile to myself while thinking, you never know what’s next in life. Pay attention or you miss out on the teeniest gifts of joy. And Heaven knows, we all need them more than ever right now.
If you’ve ever picked berries you can probably relate to this delightful experience. If you haven’t tried it…well, get out there and give it a go. It will do your spirit good.
All images by Write Gardener