Friday, July 18, 2008


We've lived here for two years now -- two years this month. The summer of 2006 was incredibly hot, and as we walked up to the high street and back, getting to know the area, we discovered a sweet surprise: blackberries! They grow wild along unexpected paths, and the place we first found them is just before the bus stop on our main road. When they're in season, we stop and pick a few -- one or two for each of us. It sounds funny, I guess, but it enhances my sense of belonging to this community that we intentionally leave the remaining ripe berries for other passersby.

All fall, all winter and all spring as we walk along that road the children will often point to that particular spot and say, "This is where the blackberries grow in the summertime!" In the past several weeks we've been watching the white flowers and subsequent green berries emerge, and today, finally, some of the berries were ready, black and sweet.

Walking home in the drizzling rain, having spent a couple hours at a friends' house after school, I took a mental snapshot of the moment: Jack looking like a miniature Morton's fisherman in his raincoat, walking beside me with one hand on the handle of Sophie's stroller; Sophie taking off her shoes, taking out her hair bands, singing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star within her protective plastic shield; me carrying Jack's Thomas the Tank Engine umbrella, having forgotten my own, and all of us tasting the first blackberries of the year.

I like that the anniversary of our arrival in England can be marked by something as sweet as blackberry season. I like that we encounter wild blackberries as we walk along the road. I like that walking is something we do a lot of. I like our little community. And today I didn't mind the rain. Welcome to year three...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

sounds lovely and rich in its gentle simplicity