Life Lessons via Berry Pickin'

Yesterday I took the kids junk huntin' and berry pickin' as it had been ages since I had picked salmon berries and huckleberries. For those of you who are not familiar with these berries a salmon berry is the raspberry's sour cousin that grows wild all over most coastal islands and the huckleberry is a tiny, round, coral coloured delight that is a real pain in the butt to pick (hence the ages since picking)

If you've ever picked Huckleberries you know, it takes for bloody ever, and although Huckleberry jam and pie, and all that, is frickin' amazing, at the time of picking, it hardly seems worth the effort. As a kid I would routinely cheat and just strip the entire branch, tiny leaves and all, just to fill the bucket and to avoid painstakingly picking the little berries one at a time.  Even the other day, here I was an adult, picking berries (which was my idea) and five minutes in I was frustrated and annoyed and switched to picking salmon berries because they were bigger and would fill the bucket up faster.  Bubs however, was a purest and stuck to Huckleberries only, I thought he was crazy.  Then I had this "AHA" moment, like the kind Oprah is always having.  Picking Huckleberries is a little bit Zen; like scrubbing a bathroom floor with a toothbrush. You see, it's an activity that has great reward if you can stick with it and be patient and find an inner solitude (whilst you rob a shrub of its fruit).

Picking Huckleberries is a lot like life, and even more like life on a west coast island. It's not easy, it takes up more of your time, it can be boring, incredibly boring and you don't even know if you'll end up with much of anything.  However it's really not about how full your bucket is. In the end, it's about the fact that you did it; that you persevered and that you took the slow, sweet time to finish what you set out to do in order to get just a little treat of something most people will never even see or taste. 

I filled my bucket halfway, that was enough for me...Bubs had consumed his efforts by the time his seat belt was buckled.


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