Becky and Travis came down and spent the 4th with us. It is always fun to have them here. They are mellow and low maintenance and we sat and talked and played with Teo quite a bit.
They weren't able to come until after work on Wednesday, so they got to Delta fairly late and then we talked until it was really late (for me....medium to easy peasy for real Night Owls). In the morning we were all stretching and getting the kinks out, and I thought I would take a bowl and pick some raspberries for our cereal.
I was a little slow getting out there, so I don't know if anyone actually go to eat them on their cereal, but it was a beautiful summer morning. It hadn't gotten too hot yet, and the morning still felt fresh. The birds were still singing - all in all, it was just about perfect.
So I went out with my bowl and started picking. These are black raspberries, and they must have some kudzu genes spliced into them. They truly are a thicket. I had cut back most of them clear to the ground, but that group of fresh canes is almost 5 feet tall now. I was picking around the edge that I hadn't cut (as most raspberry varieties form fruit on the 2nd year canes).
There were really quite a few berries. I was surprised. I picked from West to East and then when I was at the East end, I looked back towards the West and found that I hadn't gotten even half of them.... and so I went back West, picking away. When I got to the West, I started lifting the canes, and found another treasure trove of berries that I hadn't seen the first two times. Sometimes I had to reach and stretch, and hold onto the thorny canes to keep my balance. My arms had more than a few scratches on them by the time the last of the ripe berries had been picked and put in the bowl.
As I was picking, I couldn't help think of a friend whose wife recently died in a car accident. They had just come back from visiting their son and his wife, and seeing a new grandchild. In order to make a quick connection he had left his car in Leamington, drove up and back with her, then picked up his car, and a companion and went to a Home Teaching appointment. His wife never made it home. It was a devastating catastrophe, not only from the loss of his wife, but that it happened so suddenly, and after such a sweet trip.
Our whole community is in shock. Not every single person is related to someone in the valley, but for the most part we have lived here so long that it feels like losing a family member when something like this happens. But when I went to the viewing, the family was composed - saddened, but supportive of each other. I asked my friend how he was doing - mentioning that without the Gospel, this would be the end of the world, and it was pretty close anyway. He agreed, but said that he was going to be OK, that he had received some tender mercies that would get him through it.
So as I picked the raspberries, I listened to the birds, but those words echoed in my mind the whole time. Tender Mercies.....hmmmmm...... Well, if he had received them, then he would know. But I thought we probably have to look for these tender mercies that a loving Heavenly Father puts in our paths. We can walk down to the berry patch and find a few berries, but to find them all, we have to look under the leaves, and try to get a different perspective than the one that is easy to have when we are standing on the sidewalk. We have to leave the path a little bit, and probably stretch and get a little off balance, and we probably will get scratched up by life a little bit in search for these treasures. But blessings are there, we are not alone. We need to keep looking for blessing in our life all the time. Some of the blessings are probably just blossoms, some are like green berries, and in time they will ripen.
That is all. It was a good morning. I got a bowl of berries and some comforting insight right in my own back yard.