Tag Archive 'simple pleasures'

Aug 16 2016

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Wild Blackberries

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blackberriesIt’s late summer and the blackberries are ripening. A few steps from our new house they grow wild. I discovered them a few weeks ago.

They grow along the pathways between our house and the nearby quarry – a good place for a short walk. Wide pathways riddle the local woods. And where sunlight strikes, blackberry bushes magically appear.

From green to red these berries ripen. When they get that deep purplish hue, they’re ready to be picked. I can hardly resist. Their plumpness is alluring. Pop a couple in your mouth and you know what happiness tastes like. Sweet, yes, but with a zing to them that all wild fruit seems to have.

My wife Judy has gone through several pints of them. She went a-picking with me once but is happy enough just eating them at home. I, on the other hand, like picking blackberries more than eating them. It feeds my compulsion.

Don’t get me wrong. I eat plenty of blackberries as I pick them, popping one in my mouth for every two or three that goes in my container. That seems like a good ratio.

Between picking and eating, I grow lighthearted, almost giddy. Wearing only shorts, t-shirt and flip-flops, I am scratched by the thorny blackberry bushes and take plenty of bug bites, but I don’t care. I sweat in the sunlight breaking into the humid woods, but I don’t care. Picking becomes my raison d’être. I pick therefore I am.

Picking and eating, picking and eating… It’s a simple countryside pleasure that keeps me connected to the earth, making me glad to be alive. The world is going to hell in a hand basket, or so I hear. But while I’m a-picking, none of that matters.

 

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Jun 26 2016

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Daisies

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daisiesDaisies. Such ubiquitous wildflowers. You find them in clearings in the woods, open fields, or anywhere there is ample sunlight. Summer is in full swing when they start to bloom, so is it any surprise that so many of us associate them with happiness?

There are domesticated varieties, of course. I planted some daisy mums in front of my old place years ago and they took over my garden. Pretty, yes. Dainty, no. Give them half a chance and they’ll grow just about anywhere.

The other day as I was weed-whacking the drainage ditch in my front lawn, I noticed that a patch of daisies had taken root there. I steered clear of them. I let them do their thing, adding a little floral delight to the greenery.

Like so many other wildflowers, daisies gravitate to marginal areas. The other day I found them growing near the entrance to a nearby woodlot where I like to walk. Their carousel of bright white petals is an endless smile. They strike me as nature’s welcome mat – ambient to say the least.

My wife prefers daisies to roses. My kind of gal. Roses are aromatic and elegant, no doubt, but daisies shout a different kind of beauty into the world – a beauty accessible to everyone and not easily diminished.

We are well into the growing season now and this humble wildflower is everywhere. The simple, earthy pleasures of this time of year are manifest in daisies. I’m no mindless optimist, nor do I readily engage in frivolity, but the world seems less dour to me whenever daisies are in full bloom. One look at them and my soul takes flight. Silly me.

 

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