Andrew returns in the heat of the day from an errand with a bucket of black raspberries picked by his own hands. “Pick them, you must pick them!” Jenna had said, thrusting a bucket in his hands. Their garden was busting at the seams with berries, and she was determined that none should be wasted. So pick he did.
Renee and McKinley could barely contain their delight at such a feast, and really, they didn’t. They clambered up on the counter and begin to pop the sweet moist fruit into their mouths the way I imagine grizzly bears might devour salmon at the height of the salmon run. In no time their fingers and mouths were stained a deep purple, and their eyes smiled with the lusciousness of fruit on the tongue. They would have surely eaten the whole bucket had I let them, and snuck back to it time and time again through out the day.
Later, after the Sun had slipped down a bit, and the shadows had breathed out the heat of the day, we all went bike-riding—Andrew and McKinley and Renee and I. I would guess that berries and bike-rides just about top the list of best things for McKinley. Renee and I tried a new approach for biking, as she is not yet riding a bike. I rode Andrew’s recumbent trike—a quirky and relaxing ride—and she sat behind me. Though a little squished, it worked just fine, and we made our way down the road, an odd caravan of berry-stained folks enjoying the milk of Summer.
My mind runs forwards and backwards, frittering away at my days. But in the even push of pedals I found myself in the moment, blessed and present. And I find myself wanting just this, and nothing more. Desire falls away like the wrapper of my life, and I can taste the sweetness of the berries, the salt in the tears, the water from the mountain heart that quenches my thirst, that makes me alive.