The morning was new and one could smell it in the air, grass still wet with pearls of dew. Summer bounty was calling our name, berries sweet and ripe. Metal pails clinked as we marched along hearts bursting with excitement, the wood filled with song birds and crickets, dragonfly wings shimmering light. Around the bend and up a hill there they were, a sea of black and red.
One eaten one kept the pails slowly filled but excitement quickly turned to tears as thorns tore through flesh leaving berry battle wounds. I gathered my brood to comfort, mind drifting back to the little girl in gingham under a high noon sun leaning through prickly vines to beauty waiting all glistening black, and her wincing as the barbs gripped skin and cloth.
It’s hard to push through pain to the prize waiting. Sometimes it’s easier to just walk away, but for every thorn there is sweetness and I tell these ones I’ve carried and coached and cried over that pies and jams won’t happen if we’re afraid of scratches and scrapes. And that if you’re right stayed on the goal, it won’t hurt nearly as much.
We dig back in, timid and gingerly they work. But I know, and I can taste it, all this sweetness come from thorns.
Best blackberry pie recipe ever! (crust even better made in a food processor).