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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Picking strawberries in September

There is something special about picking strawberries in the middle of September.  
Discovering each one is like finding a little miracle hidden in a world of leaves and stems that are already starting to show autumn color. For some reason, our four hanging planters of strawberries are sending out a rush of blossoms and berries – perhaps in an effort to produce as much as possible while the sun still shines, striving to preserve the illusion that summer is still here. Whatever the reason, I am in delighted awe each morning as I head out with my breakfast bowl and top my granola and yogurt with a handful of juicy-red berries. Even our two Dalmatians get in on a few berries these days, as the shoots from the plants hang low with strawberries; carefully they lift their lips and gently pull off berries with their teeth. Thankfully, ‘the girls’ have kindly kept their berry picking to the low growing tendrils and have not begun grazing the plants themselves or my little strawberry miracles would long be gone!
Meanwhile, as I gloat over each treasured September strawberry, the pear tree is dropping beautiful pears right on schedule.I love pears and have waited for them all summer. However, I find myself combing through leaves looking for strawberries in September, choosing these over pears in their prime. Hmmm. How human of me!
Why is it that we desperately prefer to hang onto what was, or long for what will be, rather than be content with what is? You can bet that next month, sometime in October, I will be searching the pear tree looking for one more luscious globe hiding among golden leaves.
I am slowly reading Mother Theresa’s little book, A Simple Path. I say slowly, because I am trying not to gulp it down, but instead to savor her reflections and prayers like those lovely ripe pears—words in their season, one reading at a time. As mundane as this action is, these short, simple reflections and prayers are flashes in time when I intersect with eternity. Something so profound, but found in the daily rhythm of life.

In keeping with the theme of this week, let me share a couple of short, sweet bites with you:
The Simple Path
The fruit of silence is
The fruit of prayer is
The fruit of faith is
The fruit of love is
The fruit of service is
Help us, O loving Father, to take whatever you give,
And to give whatever you take,
With a big smile.

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