I was sorting and rinsing berries when my daughter grabbed a handful from the colander. “I just love blueberries,” she said tipping her head back to let them tumble into her mouth. I was grateful she dropped in to share her busy day with me, grateful to share my two-pound blueberry bounty with her.
“Do you remember that time, Mom, when I was in high school and I went to Amanda’s house and her dad left this big container of blueberries out and before I left I had eaten every single one? I can’t believe I did that. He didn’t get mad or anything but Amanda told me later he knew to never leave blueberries out when I came over.”
I spread my washed berries out to dry, then prepared another batch to rinse. My husband and I would not be able to eat this many berries but like my daughter, I couldn’t resist fresh blueberries in season. So I bought too many and planned to freeze some for winter treats. “Her dad had a teenager, too, Sweetie. I’m sure he understood your appetite.”
“Yeah, but I still feel bad.”
“Before I married your dad, I had a small patch of land in Tennessee. I loved blueberries so much I planted eight bushes by my fence. Every day I went out to look at my small orchard before breakfast. I watched the early flowers turn to hard green nubs, then to fat clusters of powder blue fruit. On the morning the clusters finally deepened into beryl blue, I stepped back inside to get a bowl for harvesting. A phone call delayed my return for maybe ten minutes. But that was enough time for the birds to come and eat every single berry. Picked those bushes completely clean. Not one berry left. ”
“Awe, bummer, Mom.”
“Well, I didn’t mind sharing the berries with birds who had to eat, too,” I said sampling some berries myself. “But I never bothered to grow blueberries again. I suspect that’s how Amanda’s dad felt. We fed the hungry, but learned a lesson.”
Inspired by a poem called Cherries, by Andrea Cohen that sparked some memories.
Photo from Pixaby