This is the time of year for berries: strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries. I can remember my first taste of raspberries. We had just returned from the Bahamas and were staying in John Hatch's house in Lebanon Springs, New York. A stream ran along the back yard and also raspberries. I can still taste the sweet-tart flavor on my tongue.

When we moved to Canaan, Maine, the neighbors told us of a patch of black raspberries ... not backberries, with a hard center, but plump, juicy, hollow black raspberries. The bushes were so tall that you could walk beneath them, picking the berries hiding below the leaves. It didn't take many to fill your bowl.

Wherever you go in Maine, you will find tangly, thorny raspberry bushes. The tiny berries are hard to pick. Your arms and hands become scratched and stained, but it is worth the effort. You can make them into jam or pie or sprinkle them over your cereal or ice cream. You can freeze them to enjoy later in the cold of winter. But I like them best fresh off the stem, still warm and sweetened by the summer sun.

My mother-in-law's front and back yards were full of cultivated raspberry bushes. She said that the Lord gave them to her and she had given them back. In the month of July, you could always find her hidden in the maze of paths. She never sold them, but invited others to come and pick as many as they wanted. She especially offered them to missionaries and pastor's families. She would pick from morning til night for those who couldn't get out anymore.

Now that she is gone, her gardens have gone wild. There are a few of "Grammy's" raspberry bushes left, and I hope that my children, who have claimed some, will remember the lesson she taught us. Nothing we have is our own; it belongs to the Lord, and we should freely share it with whomever He brings our way.


LauraLee Shaw said...

Berry beautiful and heartwarming post. So glad you're sharing...will my berries make it through the USPS, though? ;)

Shirley said...

MMMMMM.. I love berries and berrying too. I am from NYS as well and have some fun memories of picking raspberries and blackberries..

YOu might enjoy reading a challenge entry I wrote called Berrying


Shirley said...

here is the rest of that link for the previous comment


Joanne Sher said...

Lovely message, and now you've made me hungry for berries. Your writing is SO "homey", my dear. Love stopping by!


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