Each year we go to our favorite berry farm to pick our favorites — gooseberries, boysenberries and raspberries. EXCEPT last year, we weren’t able to go. With both of us suffering from severe sciatica and back pain, it seemed the better part of valor to stay home and anyway, we still had plenty of berries from the year before in our freezer.
Yesterday was a different story!
Breakfast was finished.
The convertible was packed for a picnic lunch and with berry baskets.
And we were ready to stain our hands with the delicious juices of those berries.
GO WEST, berry pickers! GO WEST!
And west we drove. About 45 minutes from our home to a lovely place called West Union Gardens. After we parked and had our containers weighed, we marched with determination into the lovely rows of berries — row after row after row.
As we walked childish laughter could be heard. Mamas calling them back closer, and we began to see the color of ripening berries.
Most important on our list of things to be picked were gooseberries, my husband’s favorite pie making berry. So, we found those and began picking the most luscious looking pink gooseberries. Pink, fat, juicy, big, delectable looking berries. I kept asking how many do we want to pick, and he kept saying, “MORE!”
Finally, we had enough gooseberries!
On to the boysenberries . . . .
and what we found was extraordinary in its bounty. Fat and juicy berries ready for picking. Slipping into your hands and sometimes falling to the ground. And ready for eating . . . you can eat while you pick, you know.
Then it was time to take a break. After all, we’d been at this for almost three hours. We had our lunch under a large oak tree and once refreshed the last berries we wanted to pick called us back to the rows.
The raspberries had just been opened, and there were so many! It was as if a sea of raspberries stretched before us as far as the eye could see.
The berries were larger than any I’d ever seen! And it seemed the berries wanted you to come close and pick them. Again, they slipped right into your hand. Often they too fell to the ground, and if you were lucky, you could snap that one up and put it into your bucket.
I heard a little one about three years old say to her mama, “Oh, look, mama. Some of the berries falled down to the ground.” Her tiny voice sounded sad.
Dear reader, don’t leave me yet. I know you wonder where this is going. And I have a wonderful message not just for you, but one that was meant for me yesterday.
For weeks, or so it seems, I’ve been traveling in the desert. I even mentioned to my husband that my writing had dried up, I felt parched and worn out, and I wondered why. Of course, he had no answer for me.
Then, just by chance I reached out to my friend Nikki over at Simply Striving. Nikki’s post on Tuesday talked about discovering worship. As I read it, I cried. There was something there I needed and felt a hunger for. Leaving a comment for Nikki, I told her where I was, or maybe wasn’t.
Doing what good friends do best, Nikki reached back to me with a wonderful heartfelt prayer that you can read in her comments — it may speak to your heart and needs as well. I could feel something happening — like an opening was being created.
Yesterday, while in the berry fields, breathing in His air, feeling His breeze, seeing and picking from His bounty,
Not nearly close enough lately.”
and knew in an instant He was right, again.
I am the one to take the step toward regaining my closeness with Him.
assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us
from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess,
for he who promised is faithful.
Hebrews 10:22-23 (NIV)