Saturday, August 05, 2006

a mean, (lean,) gleaning machine

"You can try that patch up there on the hill," he waved as he straightened from weeding the beets.
"Although they are a bit past season, you could also look at the row between the strawberries. You might just hunt up a few if you look hard enough. Oh, and--no charge. You'll have worked hard enough for them!"

Gleaning for raspberries on a Saturday. Being game for most of my schemes, Friend #12 joined me this glinty August morning at the Martin's farm. Indeed, our family has a towering row of raspberry cane, but they are late-summer bearing and I simply cannot wait any longer for a bowl of berries fit for a king. An hour later, we come away triumphant with over two quarts of royal fruit won by our juice-stained fingers under the morning sun. We decided to pick purple beans and lettuce, too. A once-over of the produce shed gave us tomatoes, summer squash and a fistful of green onions. It was the most invigorating grocery-shopping I have done all summer.

Such a pleasing farm! The tidy grounds exude the honest smell of dirt and grass.Rows of greens, beet-tops, purple beans, carrots, and herbs are tended by gentle people accompanied by the tunes of rowdy children in overalls, family pets, and a toy piano being accosted by toddlers on the farmhouse porch. Those sounds, mixed with the saw of cicada, rasp of cricket, and chirrup of swallow left me exuberantly content.

"I am in love with the world today. And everyone in it." I proclaim to my picking-partner as I eat a bean and survey the rolling landscape. (She regularly puts up with outrageously inclusive statements from the author of this here blog.) What a wonderful world this is, where sights, sounds, smells, and raspberries are free for the gathering!

Would to God that each day I would arise ready to glean.


Blogger Harmony said...

Your post brought to mind a delightful side trip while on vacation in NC a few years ago. We were drawn off the planned course by a sign for "Fresh Strawberries" only to arrive at a field with no attendant, only a sign that said "Closed: Gleaners Welcome!" What memories, with the sun warm on our backs, and with a cooler full of strawberries to share with grandmothers on our way.

What a thought, that sights, sounds, smells and berries are ready to be gathered and enjoyed! May we each glean from the bounty that He has graciously placed in our path this day!

10:57 PM  

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