When the world gets
Too much to bear,
Take to the hills
And pluck berries
In the fresh country air.
So we did - on a weekday in the dawning days of the new year when all is supposed to be, as they say, rested, relaxed and rosy. On the contrary, the congealed leftovers of a too busy work year served with an accompaniment of almost losing a loved one and a sticky sauce of family dynamics left us gasping for earth, air and the comfort and perspective they bring - and they did.
The gelling negativity started melting as we played 'I Spy' in the car for replacing thoughts with moment-to-moment presence. It thinned and seeped away as we farm-hopped for the best pickings of cherries, raspberries, plump-as-you-please blackberries and blueberries. It dissipated as we squashed a colourful palette of berries between tongue and palate and licked sticky juice off stickier, purple fingers.
|BIG bucket. They must've seen us coming.|
It rose from our shoulders like steam from a just-roasted shoulder of lamb as we felt for the ripest, tasted for the sweetest and looked for the largest. It evaporated as we filled the kitchen, our hearts and our stomachs with inventive berry dishes as we struggled to make use of the multitude of multi-coloured berries we over-bought in our excitement.
The heaviness melded into the earth as sugar melded into hot fruit boiling in readiness for jam. Hands wrapped in tea-towels to twist hot lids onto hot jars, we sealed it right out of our jelling jam - tight.
It completely disappeared as we stopped the already busy, new year work schedule and made the time - to simply stop and make jam.
Then we ride back
To our car on the
Back of a bumpy truck.