Saturday morning, baby and I met my parents at 7:50 in the morning to pick blueberries. It’s the third year baby has been to this spot to pick berries.
The first year, I was pregnant, getting ready for mat leave, and tired. I was also looking ahead to a winter of smoothies, and couldn’t fathom paying for packaged frozen berries. I pushed myself out there for a few picking sessions, seeing the deep squats as preparation for birth and filling my bucket with super-sized blue bliss.
The second year, I was on leave and had amazing baby with me. I tried it once on my own, chasing after crawling baby, and also went with my parents and husband on various occasions. When she got to the bushes, she would grab whatever she could get – blue, green, purple, didn’t matter. We took turns looking after baby and feeding her berries.
This year, baby has already learned how to pick berries on the three bushes we have in our yard. Husband taught her how to pick purple berries (my preference is for slightly riper berries than hubby!) and to avoid the “neen” ones. I thought she might go crazy, running up and down the aisles, but she stuck right by us. She picked some berries, but also enjoyed creeping between the bushes and visiting with a lovely older woman slightly down the row.
So many great things about berry picking. The gorgeous setting, on the hills looking over the valley. The amazing delicious organic berries. Intergenerational family bonding, as baby, grandparents and I pick, talk and keep track of wandering baby. Knowing that we’re gathering healthy food to nourish us over the next year. The conversations that arise as you’re absorbed in the search for blue dots among the bushes. Overhearing the diversity of other people similarly catching up and connecting about their different lives. Knowing that we’re all together in this elemental task that is linked to survival and transcends work and labour.