As we usher past the Independence Day celebration, on comes the reason to take the back roads to Derrick Farms. With trusty old pail in hand, I arrive and settle at my blueberry bush. How I love these summer late afternoons with nothing to do but pick berries. The mellow setting sun is warm as the crickets chirp in the fields. The bowed branches wait eagerly for our fingers.
A companionable silence settles over us. The occasional thread of chatter tries to rise but the voice has no barrier in these fields and causes one to hush up rather than break the blessings of quiet. The plunk-plop-plunk of berries being dropped in the bucket takes over. Something old inside always wakes up as I give in to the rhythm of harvesting. I spy every berry under every leaf, crouching down to get those closer to the earth that always seem rounder and sweeter. I forget everything to do. There is nothing to do but pick blueberries.
When the pail can take no more, the bounty is weighed and it’s time to go. The berries rarely make it into a pie. A splash of water and they’re ready enough. The season this year will be short. The sun tends to hide and the warmth of summer has been most tardy. The dusty old sign on the way out says, Auf Wiedersehen, until we meet again. Blueberry season has begun. I’ll be around by and by.
As written by Frances Ann Wychorski
301 Sanders Road