What I’ve Learned from the Blackberry

Karen Barrs of Little England Farm in Gloucester Virginia with Blackberry Jam-min

People are like blackberries.

Some sweet. Some sour. Some larger than others – but size doesn’t necessarily determine sweetness.

Some are firm, and somehow maybe one that grows right beside it may be super squishy.

Blackberry Bushes at Little England Farm in Gloucester Virginia-min

The protective thorns that grow around my bushes keep the critters away. Even the birds. Yet, I can see lots of holes through the patch where an animal made a trail to get the lake.

Blackberries are awesome straight from the vine. Sampling is a must. Takes me back to a time period of Laura Ingles – Half Pint – running home from school with her books tied in a knot in one hand, lunch pale in the other, stopping to sample Ma’s blackberries!

Blackberry Bushes Overlooking Lake at Little England Farm in Gloucester Virginia-min

Maybe Laura Ingles is my Spirit Animal! Side note: that should definitely go on a t-shirt. And, the Lord has put a few Nelly Olsens in my life!

Back to the blackberries.

Sometimes I will grab two or three at a time to eat. It’s amazing how one will be super sweet and the other growing right beside it seems tart. But eating together, it’s really something special. You need them both. Too much sweet can make you sick.

In my quiet time forging for berries I see Him. Y’all know I believe God created the heavens and the earth and all that’s in it. You can look around at nature and see His fingerprints. It’s there if you want to see it.

I think of how people – like my blackberries – come in all shapes and sizes. Some sweet and some sour.

Blackberry Stained Fingers from Picking at Little England Farm in Gloucester Virginia-min

Family and Friends Picking Blackberries at Little England Farm in Gloucester Virginia-min

How many relationships can flourish from growing up beside another human who may not be the same as you on the inside, but when together, you make a tasty treat?

We all have thorns in life. Some healthy boundaries to keep us safe. But, we also have thorns we have built up around ourselves due to life circumstances and hurts.

I take my trusted Tiller the Boykin & Remi the Black Lab down to the patch when I go picking. They look for snakes that might be hiding out. They run ahead and poke through all the holes and hang out with me. We all need friends in this life who will do this for one another. They protect my blindside.

Tiller the Boykin and Fresh Blackberries from Little England Farm in Gloucester Virginia-min

People like blackberries can even be a miracle when pressed. You put all this amazing beautiful fruit together, press and squeeze – and just like that…the end result is beautiful in color, taste, and smell.

Blackberry Jam Jars from Little England Farm in Gloucester Virginia-min

Our blackberry season only lasts for three to four weeks. My favorite picking time is the evening. Sun is lower in the sky, the breeze has usually showed up and I can hear the York River lapping behind me.

Like with any season it will come and then like that it’s over. Enjoy it and learn from it.

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