Breathing deep and settling into the morning with a cup of Green Tea and some of the goodies I baked yesterday. I spent the day volunteering on a local farm and, once again, I spent most of the morning picking blackberries. There's a corridor of wild growth between two fields on the farm, 1/2 acre dense I'd guess, and lining the grassy pathway through the growth are bushes filled the blackberries (some in decay or still pink, others busting with juice and staining my fingers purple) and briers.
If you stand to one side of the pathway and peek through the branches lining the corridor, you'll see (as your eyes begin to adjust to the dark fullness of the thicket, cave-like and chaotic with growth) clusters of luscious red and black, the dark fat ones purple in bright sun.
Wearing long pants and a sweater, I leaned into the bushes, reaching for every last mouth-watering cluster of plump dark red berries, already imagining them in two birthday pies, a breakfast crisp for my in-laws and, topping a scoop of vanilla frozen yogurt some late evening with wine. With a new respect for the berries' self-defensive armour and a burning awareness of my own limitations, I walked away from quite a few of these treasured blackberry clumps. But I picked several pounds by afternoon and brought home enough to make two kinds of crisp: 1) Blackberry/Peach 2) Blackberry/Strawberry and three pans of Blackberry Bars adapted from a recipe for Blueberry Crumble: http://smittenkitchen.com/2008/07/blueberry-crumb-bars/.
My husband had a taste of both crisps and ate a plateful of broken corners and crusts from the Blueberry Bars. And when he smiled at me through purple teeth, his belly full, I felt the warm gratification born from intentional, rhythmic work.