08 June 2012
The satisfying pop of a strawberry plucked from the plant. The soft fruit is in my hand for a moment and then added to the basket in a growing pile of small, seed studded red berries. Some are as small as beads strung into a necklace, others are the size of a sparkling pendant hanging alone on a chain. I can't help it when one makes its way to my mouth, so sweet that I scoff at the idea of sugar.
A few rows over, other pickers rustle through the green leaves using their fingers and their eyes to search and collect the treasure. Muffled conversations float towards me as two ladies catch up on life while filling their boxes with as many berries as they can get. An older couple picks along rows adjacent to each other, backs bent and arms reaching with determination. Moms yell to their roaming children or remind the ones close by don't eat too many and only pick the ones that are red.
I hope that I'll be picking and eating strawberries at all these stages of my life. And someday I will grow a patch right outside my door so I can wander out and pick my breakfast on June mornings. This year I am determined to eat as many berries as I want, knowing they will never taste as fresh, sweet and ripe with strawberry-ness as they do now. I will freeze some for a hint of the taste when summer is gone, but I am doing my best to appreciate this fruit in its season more than trying to save it for another day.