Several days in the summer, I take my children down the road from our home to a farm to pick berries. For this girl raised in the country, being on a real farm speaks to my soul. The earth under my feet and the harvesting of food for my family are comforting.
I drive down the dirt road to the farm stand, unpack my kids and grab a few buckets before we walk toward the rows and rows of berries. I choose a row that is least occupied so that my kids and I can have it to ourselves. And then the work begins.
Through the thorny bushes, we find juicy berries to put in our buckets. Each bush, each leaf unveils a new fruit waiting to be picked. By the time we complete the row, my daughter’s face and shirt are covered in berry juice and my son is holding a dead blackberry branch for poking at the ground.
When we finally get home, I get to indulge in the reward of my labors — a splash of sweetness and plenty of jam.
This experience is one that I’ve come to cherish every summer. Being so connected to God’s creation revitalizes me. It’s simplicity — a life apart from work, preparing my children for school and the drama of the world around me. It’s just me, my children, the earth and the fruit of my labor.
I still have a lot to learn in this life, but I feel blessed to be given these brief moments when I can truly appreciate things like the dirt, the juice from a deliciously-ripe berry and the joy of a child.