Blueberry picking is always a spiritual experience for me, but this year even more so. Trying to work around the excessive humidity and temps, I arrived at 9AM opening time. The leaves still glistened from last night’s thunder shower or was it heavy dew? Clear, blue skies and low humidity seemed like perfection…
Tuning into the cacophy of sweet bird song, I blocked out the chattering noise of other pickers. I usually like to pick in the afternoon when not many are in the patch and it’s quiet except for nature, the swooshing of cars below, and an occasional dog greeting a passerby.
So many bushes, though, were bare. Or laden with green berries. Or berries so tiny they couldn’t be picked. Row after row, I’d never experienced such barreness. Moving deeper into the patch then, I confronted purple and blue dots shouting like a neon sign. No way I could miss it. That one bush filled half my pail and I said a “Thank you, God.”
Moving around the bush, I realized how my perspective changed. Blinding sunlight excluded branches until taking a step or two to the right. Gently turning branches down like the covers before a good night kiss, more and more clusters of plump, dark, rich purplish-blue were tucked deep within. It took more effort to seek and find, but they were there. And plentiful.
Feeling my soul filled up with the simple sweetness of nature, I began contemplating how berries and life look differently depending on our stance.
My thoughts drifting to God, I began thinking how each of us who feels a spirit within is God centered in our own way. It’s never mattered to me if someone calls their God, God, the Universe, Allah (if not doing harm), Buddha, etc. — whatever speaks to the heart. I mean, what’s the difference if they are all inroads to spirit? Like varied languages throughout the world, why shouldn’t each of us have a name for the God of our choosing?
To me, formal, organized religion, in numerous instances, taints the spirit of God. Rather than be loving and kind, it’s used to shame, control, and even profit or mame and kill. That, is not what God or an inner spirit is to me.
About an hour later, Mother Nature began broiling my skin. Suddenly, picking became uncomfortable and I felt grateful for the abundance in my pail.
My God, is a loving God, and thankfully always was. My God, the one I have known my entire life, is protector, teacher and guide. If I did not show tolerance to others, I would not be followng my God who is Love.
And so it goes with blueberry picking. You never know what you will learn from where you stand.