Saturday, August 06, 2011


Another perfect day for picking a load of berries, this time the easiest to pick, blueberries. All the perfectly ripe ones nearly picked themselves, pretty much just rolled off into my hand.

The rows were full of people who had the same idea for a good way to spend the day – plenty of families were picking, with kids of just about every age in tow.

Maybe it’s part of being out in the open air, or maybe it’s the illusion of privacy afforded by the rows of tall berry bushes, but whatever it is, lots of chatting goes on amongst pickers. Inveterate eavesdropper that I am, the conversations I enjoyed most were those of the kids.

Sure, there were plenty of burp and fart remarks, lots of laughing. But there were also some treasures: “After you get your tonsils out, can you still sing?” Or, “Every day someone dies and someone is born.”

And on the thought of someone being born, today is the hundredth anniversary of Lucille Ball’s birth. As an enduring performer, she has to be one of the funniest. I’m sure if I were to watch a rerun of just about any episode of I Love Lucy, I’d find something to laugh about. Today’s paper ran a nice piece about remembering her, and referred specifically to the chocolate-factory episode, a memorable one, to be sure.

But back to those fields, where I heard other conversations. Several languages rose into the morning sun – Spanish, some Eastern European sounding language I couldn’t identify, a Chinese dialect, and just in the next row, the softer-sounding (to my ear) Japanese. I remembered that today is the day Hiroshima was bombed and almost wanted to say to them, “I’m sorry.” Instead, we chatted a bit about the berries, about how big and sweet they were, how impossible it was not to keep sampling them. And I can’t help wonder, had the times been different, could it really be that we would have needed to be enemies, rather than being strangers who could laugh together and enjoy the day in a field of ripening berries.


Janet Vickers said...

Congratulations Heidi. I want a copy.

Janet Vickers said...

Yes a copy of Shrinking Violets - I did put the comment in the wrong place.