Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Berry Hunter

The thing about blackberries and boysenberries is that you have to pick them all gone before you can get more. This is true prosperity. It is in alignment with what my friend Cam just told me earlier this week: that we live in a just in time Universe. As usual, I grumbled and moaned about my upcoming berry picking. I didn't want to be poked by the thorns, and it just didn't seem as if there were that many ripe berries to pick.

Gail has left me a pale blue jumpsuit to wear over my clothes. “Gail Brooks......Berry Hunter” is embroidered in tiny script along the collar. There are disposable plastic gloves to wear, and I always keep a pair of rubber work galoshes in my car. My spirits lift somewhat when I realize the boots match my outfit.

 I select two cartons from the pile on the chair: one for each type of berry. I begin with the boysenberries along the fence. I taste several checking for ripeness. There are so many different shades that I am easily confused as to which ones are ripe. I mentally hope that Mike, Gail's partner, shows up so I can ask him. Surprisingly enough, my prayer is answered within the next half hour when Mike and his father appear walking along the path that edges the bay. Mike picks a couple berry's and pops them in his mouth. “See, these are done. Whatever ones come off the tree easily.” Reassured, I go back to picking the sweet, red fruit. When I fill up half a milk cartons worth, I start on the blackberries. It doesn't take long before my mood has shifted from grumbling to gratitude.

Although it is overcast, it is warm. There are less berries now because I picked a full carton a few days ago. This gives me a chance to notice my surroundings, and listen to the bees, the breeze and the wind chimes. The chimes send me back to my beginnings here on the bay. It was in 1993 and I was renting a place behind a friend's house in Morro Bay. It was a basement apartment. There were wind chimes there too.

Carolyn Myss said that we have to let go of the life we thought we'd have to embrace the life we are living. When I think about it, I've always wanted to live in a house where I can spread out with enough time to focus on writing, songwriting and creating. I wanted the freedom to flow with my own energy. I'm done picking berries and ready to head back into the house. I wind my way back through the bushes and notice a number of ripe berries that I didn't see before.

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