Picking berries during quarantine is not a joke. The state governor ordered to stay at home, observe social distancing, and wear masks. School districts are struggling with figuring out the format of teaching children during the next school year. Sports programs are closed. The options for summer enjoinment are limited to keeping ourselves healthy and staying sane while trying to distance from each other and from going into the abyss of uncertainty and frustration.
Do you look for a summer spark while trying to adhere to the quarantine rules? Lots of things to enjoy and be grateful for. After all, it is summer and even during the normal times we often choose just to stay at home and savor the long hours of day heat while relaxing in the airconditioned rooms.
Summer in your house can be fun and creative. Did I say fun and creative????
Yes, I did. Have you decided to look for and see the things and activities you enjoy? For me often times the limited choice is the best because this is where creative juices start to flow.
I explored and here is what I found.
Want to kill the time?
It’s not that we don’t have anything to do during this shutdown. There is always a list of things I have to accomplish every day. Cooking and cleaning, walking the dog, watering the yard are everyday chores that need to be done. I don’t like to kill the time, because I don’t have the time to kill. I’d rather see how I can really make use of it and savor the moment. So, I find picking berries is a great opportunity to do so.
Picking berries for pleasure
Many people would perceive picking berries drudgingly, as a dreary and weary pastime. It can be quite monotonous and boring if you want to.
On the first day when I went to the blueberry farm, I had only two hours to work and a pail which I wanted to fill as soon as possible. Pressed of time I was in a hurry to finish and move on, checking often how much space would that little blueberry cover in that container. I felt disheartened to find out that it takes a lot of berries to add at least a little bit of weight to the bucket. So I stopped looking into the container and pulled my attention to the berries on the bush, not in my pail. I started eating them too and the sweetness in the mouth lightened up the picking process. Tasting the dust at the same time? Well, dusted berries are the healthiest dirt in my perspective.
Make some money
In our area of Oregon picking berries can be a way to make a little bit of money. The students are encouraged to work in the farms learning the discipline of getting up in the morning and doing the work in the fresh air. Agriculture skills are always helpful anywhere in the world. Imagine if you want to grow a few herbs for your cooking on a window sill somewhere during the freezing winter in Ukraine for example. Picking berries in Oregon farms allows you to make from 3 USD per flat. Even though it’s not much but a little bit of cash adds up and is always rewarding.
Picking berries for healing your soul
This is the most attractive benefit of picking berries. You notice the abundance of those berries. The nature is so generous, that it feels like the whole ocean of blueness and sweetness envelopes you. The feeling of abundance is overwhelming and you almost drown in it reaching for more and more berries on the bush branches. They fall in your hand, they drop on the ground, they shower the grass around. There is enough for everybody and everyone. The bees are buzzing around and you just move from one branch to another, choosing the best and the juiciest. This is a magical feeling of freedom and bounty that only nature can so generously gift us with.
Learn and explore
Break through the confinement at home and go to explore. For some time, I have been thinking about finding that farm. I learned that people pick berries in Oregon and it is very normal to make it a family outing or a special event. This is a berry paradise and why not take advantage of it. After all, we are privileged to live right here in the middle of it. It takes only a little bit of courage to step out of the comfort zone, plan the trip, and jump into a car. This is how we explore the new places, learn about their culture, and get anchored to savor the feeling of belonging.
It is easy to find the spark of summer, even when our heads are full of the problems of quarantine, health, economy, school closures, and yes, upcoming elections. I do watch the news and keep myself informed, but finding the spark in everyday life is easy if you intend to look for it. Going to the farm to pick berries worked as that spark of summer for me. I found joy! Saw it! Felt it! Tasted it! And you know what?
It is delicious.
What spark of summer did you find today? Where did you look for it? How did it make you feel?
Remember, life is a journey of joy. Embrace it!
I’ll continue talking with you in the comments. Feel free to share whatever resonated with your heart.