My friend Ingrid visited a few days ago, for a little less than 24 hours. I’ll bet she picked blueberries for 8 of those hours. Whoa, did she ever find an abundance of blueberries.
She’s always had a harvesting talent. One summer before we had kids she took me to her secret patch in the Chequamegon National Forest…….so really it was my turn to show her some of our secret spots. Honestly though…. on the Gunflint Trail beyond us…the abundance goes on for as far as you can see. And then some. The staff have their own secret spots, and come back with blueberry loads for muffins and pancakes, and cookies, and cakes.
I divvy up my summer hours a little differently than Ingrid does……..I take my vacations in little doses. After the office closed the other night, I went out with her for a couple hours. Which means Ingrid picked steadily for two hours, and I picked for one, and then I sat on a rock near her and chatted for the last hour. I take my breaks in doses too.
She sticks her nose in the blueberry patch, and there she stays. As she was walking in with her bucket early the next morning, she passed two friendly people and she asked how it was going. They shrugged with their empty buckets and were heading back to the car. “It’s all picked out.” Ingrid smiled……..and came out 4 gallons later. Hint: 6 years ago, acres and acres and acres were perfectly primed for blueberries. If you want some of the abundance, you can trust that it is out there, you just might have to keep walking.
I’ve decided that a great life trick is to figure out what is abundant in the current season, find it, and bury yourself in that particular patch..If you can’t find it, you can trust that it’s out there, you just might have to keep walking.
I can remember in mid July, my grandpa used to eat raspberries all day long. Sweet corn=same thing. I remember asking him if he was tired of eating corn. Really, he had a simple sustainable slant: When the corn’s ripe, a guy eats the corn. He had those progressive practices well before writers like Barbara Kinsolver and Michael Polen were writing about alternative food movements. He could carry on a good conversation with most anybody, but somehow, I think if those writers would have run into him on the Greyhound bus between Milwaukee and Minneapolis those years ago, they might have been a tad bit turned off by the great big Nixon and Reagan stickers he posted all over his suitcase. If they had met him, and been inclined to chat, they would definitely given him the thumbs up on this particular eating practice.
I can still remember the look on his face, sitting at the kitchen table in the morning, eating a big bowl of raspberries still warm from the patch, doused in cream. Without a doubt, he was living a life of abundance–he was on to that trick! He was completely satisfied, and relishing his moment.
On the Gunflint Trail, it’s our season for sun, for visitors, for blueberries. I hope I have learned something from my grandpa. I hope that sometimes my face reflects that same look of richness, of satisfaction, of appreciation for whatever happens to be in current abundance.
When I was about 13, my dad, brother and I were up there on a canoe trip. We pulled the canoe out on a little island… not sure which lake we were on, but we found TONS of blueberries. I never liked blueberries until that trip. Now I just CRAVE good wild blueberries (I’m always disappointed by the store bought ones…)