July 17, 2013

Wild Raspberry Picking: Imagination is a terrible thing to waste.

Raspberry Preserve
"It's a lot nicer than going round by the road; that is so dusty and hot," said Diana practically, peeping into her dinner basket and mentally calculating if the three juicy, toothsome, raspberry tarts reposing there were divided among ten girls how many bites each girl would have.


The little girls of Avonlea school always pooled their lunches, and to eat three raspberry tarts all alone or even to share them only with one's best chum would have forever and ever branded as "awful mean" the girl who did it. And yet, when the tarts were divided among ten girls you just got enough to tantalize you.


The way Anne and Diana went to school was a pretty one. Anne thought those walks to and from school with Diana couldn't be improved upon even by imagination. Going around by the main road would have been so unromantic; but to go by Lover's Lane and Willowmere and Violet Vale and the Birch Path was romantic, if ever anything was. - Anne of Green Gables 


Today the girls at summer camp spent their day in the woods picking wild berries. One for the basket, and a juicy one for their mouths. There was a group of young ladies who stuck by me in the kitchen, filling up buckets of water, sweeping, and helping cook the meals, even though there were numerous fun activities going on.

These girls already reminded me of me in my childhood. I was a constant dreamer. But unlike Anne Shirley my wild imaginings almost never involved queens or beautiful women with frozen cream skin and raven hair. I was more often a servant doing her daily chores, a colonial girl on the way to a one-room schoolhouse or a slave escaping to freedom than anything else. 

"Older sister," the girls said "We found a new patch of berries on Berry Hill!"

Knowing I would be confused, they introduced me to the "imaginative new names" of the places around the farm.  

Slapjacks to share.
It was extremely fun today to get to be the "older sister" of a bunch of dreaming Anne-girls. I would have loved to have spent a day collecting berries in the "Colonial times." It was fun to finally be a Josephine Barry, kindred spirits with the adventurous dreamers. I also realized how impossibly hard it would for me to be a Marilla Cuthbert. :)

8 comments:

  1. Reminds me of the berries we saw at Gettysburg. We could go berry picking some time, except that you don't like them. :P

    Still, it is fun to pick them. :D

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  2. I'd like to go to Gettysburg/Harper's Ferry again, maybe in the fall.

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  3. I remember picking blueberries at my grandma's neighbor's house. She has health problems, so I think she just let them wilt. I miss those memories. :(

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    1. It really was a trip down memory lane for me. I don't know if I ever picked blueberries before.

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    2. When I was little, my father used to take us to a nearby farm that grew strawberries and blueberries. We used to pick them by the boxful and bring them home. I remember taking them up to the stand where they'd weigh them and we'd pay. When we got home I had more than my heart's content of strawberries! :)

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  4. When we lived in Oregon, our valley had a few blackberry bushes growing; we would occasionally pick the fruit, although only in small quantities, and one of our neighbors would bake blackberry pies. Picking blackberries here in the UK is not the same as picking them in rural Oregon.

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    Replies
    1. I've never been to GB or Oregon. Do you miss it ?

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    2. Yep, I do miss Oregon; it was my home for over nine years!

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