Monday, May 2, 2011
Multitude Monday XX: Strawberries
When you picture an outing to pick fresh strawberries, you might imagine something like last year's excursion. Sun-drenched rows of plump red berries, waiting for chubby fingers to pluck them from obscurity.
And this is Texas in May, so that picture would make perfect sense. However, weird things happen in Texas. Like cold fronts blowing in with a vengeance while you're shopping for groceries. And praying for rain to come soak your parched and thirsty land, only to have it fall on the one day when you finally get your act together and head for the strawberry farm.
When you drive over an hour to pick yourself some berries, you don't just throw up your hands and head for home. You borrow yourself a dadgum umbrella, and you start picking.
And there, crouched in the muddy rows, gently pushing back the gleaming leaves, you have lots of time to reflect, once your helpers have retired to the warm, dry car.
You think about this weekly gratitude exercise -- a daily exercise, really -- and how it's all just a pushing back of mud and leaves and weeds to find those perfect, ripe red specimens of berry goodness. From above, the pickings look slim. To find the berries worth plucking, you have to get down. Way down.
It works something like this. [Gifts # 201-210]
The mud and leaves: A disappointing outing (rain today, of all days!)
The gift: Watching my son hoe potatoes in an adjoining field, undaunted by the drizzle or the heft of the pitchfork.
The mud and leaves: A long drive, which always makes me feel sleepy
The gift: Beautiful Hill Country scenery and a Starbucks caramel macchiato to perk me up on the way back. Laughing with the kids at the Mr. Popper's Penguins CD we picked up at the library.
The mud and leaves: My daughters' fashion choices.
The gift: My daughters' fashion choices. Do we have an emerging sense of self, or what?
The mud and leaves: The washing, de-stemming, refrigerating and freezing chores that follow a berry-picking.
The gift: Fresh, locally-grown strawberries preserved for the next few months, the thought of smoothies and strawberry shortcakes to come, hands that can work, and a puppy curled up on my feet in the kitchen.
The mud and leaves: Waiting, waiting, waiting, for the Professor's job offer letter to arrive. Wondering why "tomorrow" always seems to mean "three days from now, after you remind us."
The gift: Learning to trust the Lord more deeply -- trust that His timing is laser-perfect. Oh, and the offer letter finally arriving today!