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Berry Picking Meditation

Picking raspberries with the family has become a blissful summer evening pastime. These days they are falling off the bushes. My girl runs to them when we head outside, gobbling them up by the fistful and getting them between her toes. When I am picking I feel a connection to my ancestors. Children have been stuffing themselves with berries at the height of summer for a very long time. And women have been gathering berries for what lay ahead in the winter. It was one of the activities done by women while they watched their children. So much of the work of women over the centuries has been like this; requiring calm attention but not too much, easy to stop and pick up later if someone skins a knee.

In our age, the benefits of berry picking are not to be dismissed. It is a wonderful form of meditation. Funny that we now need to go to ‘functional movement’ gyms to do all the natural movements we used to do to feed ourselves and live. I have done some serious acrobatics in the raspberry patch, and plenty of squats as the best berries are usually drooping near the ground, sneakily hidden under a tripartite leaf. The mindset of picking is also a blessed thing. It is a combination of anticipation for what you will find under the next leaf, reassurance because you are gathering food for yourself and your loved ones, and the pleasure of quiet time in the sun eating sweets. The bees that buzz by your ears seem downright friendly, as you both revel in the wonder of what berries bring.

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