That first taste….and the glands along my jawline sing with delight. It’s almost painful, they taste so good. It bursts upon your tongue, and the memory floods instantly to my brain.
Picking warm blueberries growing wild amongst the Canadian Shield. There is a bench that looks out upon the Bay, and the smell of earth and lake water is all around. It is Grandpa and Grandma’s cottage up on Hamer Bay, and maybe I am 11…..or close to it.
The most delightful snack for a hungry body, as the water cascades off my shivering form after a swim in the lake. Blueberries…before they were the popular “anti-oxidant”, “good for you”, “fights cancer”… Wonder berry! Just a wild blueberry plucked fresh and gobbled down, simply because it tasted great.
So off to memory lane I go, as I reminisce of those times instantaneously. How Grandma would give us a bowl, and send us off in search of these delightful things, promising us a lovely pie if we collected enough.
Even though her pies were legendary, and we had every intention of bringing her an overflowing bowl, the temptation of scarfing them all down, except for maybe 10, was often too much.
We would sheepishly return with our scant offering, and she would smile in that all knowing, most wonderful type of Grandma way, and say..”just enough for a pie.”
That woman could make pies that would make you beg, she was a magician.. Everything she made was delicious, except, my Dad would say, “when she made liver!” I’ m gagging at present at the very idea of it….
Grandma…I miss you…Your gentle ways, your wonderful laugh that would rock your body, the way your eyes simply lit up, and you clasped our faces with delight when you saw us. We know how you loved us. You made us all feel incredibly special.
Then there was Grandpa, and his fires…always lighting a fire, and usually where one shouldn’t be lit. I remember sitting down by the lake in a big circle with my cousins, and he would build up a massive bunch of old logs, then pour out a healthy dose of gas…wait… a minute or two, then casually toss in a match!
Whoosh…a bonfire was lit, and surprisingly none of us exploded into flames. Swimming filled days, with waterskiing and sunbathing, and always with Grandmas’ delectable fare to fill our starving tummies.
In the evenings, many would gather to play a rousing game of “kick the can.” Many cousins would play, and as we hid amongst the junipers, and pines, often getting eaten alive by Muskokan mosquitoes….we were happy. No threat of zinka virus to dampen our enthusiasm.
Its always incredible how just a simple taste, or a certain scent transports one back to an event in ones’ life straight away….like that of the blueberry.
Often the memories from ones’ childhood are so soothing, but I know there are many who do not share in these types of memories. For them childhood was brutal and harsh and often times they suffered abuse. I cannot even fathom what this must be like. My heart hurts just to try and empathize with these loved ones.
A friend and I often remark how incredibly blessed we were to know unconditional love from our parents. We never questioned it, it just was…such a gift.
Family and love should be synonymous…like apple pie a la mode, and strawberries and shortcake, peanut butter and jelly. It just works well together, and when resting in the bosom of ones’ family, all is well.
This weekend a wedding will be celebrated. It is the joining together of two lovely souls, and I look forward to witnessing this event and participating in it with great joy.
There is the small detail of a bear or two that might grace our presence during the festivities. Eeek… I say!.. No bears allowed to wedding crash.
Of course it might be good to mention that we are in the mountains, with the roaring river in the background, and the tall pines all around, so it just might be plausible that the bears know the humans will be dining on some good grub, so why not show up to party?
Unexpectedly a massive, some what out of the blue, torrential rain storm, complete with hail, and a clap of thunder that made my week in the knees …took place before this blessed event.
The heavens simply opened up, and rain flowed throw the reception area, past carefully set tables, blowing napkins up in the air, and causing rivers you could so easily paddle a kayak down, to transform this lovely decorated area into a potential kaos zone.
Its always interesting to observe others reactions during the storm. We were not expecting rain. We were expecting a 86 degree day with patchwork clouds… Epic fail… The scene was set for a peaceful, scenic outdoor wedding, but when the rains came down, plans, well….they changed.
There was a delay….To expect your guests to file out during an electrical storm in the Rocky Mountains may have been just pushing it a tad!..ha… Although it would have been quite funny to announce that the wedding will just press on as planned, and then have begun to just seat guests, as if the potential of lightening strike, was inconsequential could have been entertaining.
So…that did not happen. We waited. The bride was not bothered in the slightest. She announced that she wanted to be married outdoors, and that’s just what she would do.
She is an extreme delight, this Sawyer. She, and my daughter Bianca shared a zest for life, and a friendship that was priceless to behold. In fact, when the rains came, she announced hat she figured that Bianca was responsible, and just seemed to understand that it was her way of saying that she was there, she was present, and Sawyer just accepted this as bring completely natural.
I love this attitude, this understanding…this acceptance. The rain will come, the storm clouds will gather. We know this. All of our carefully laid plans will often blow up right in our faces…what to do? How to respond?
Do we run for cover? Do we cancel our life event, or do we wait it out…sometimes on our knees, and often times flat on our faces, because we are spent, we are emptied?
Is it possible to stand in the storm, to not cower when we hear the mighty thunder, to not search for a ragged umbrella hoping we can stand when the flash floods come?
We know they will. I was ill prepared. I was wearing cute high heels, which stained my feet, after they became soaked in the water. I should have had on rubber boots, but I did not know. After all I had come for a wedding, and who wears rubber boots to that type of event?
There are so many storms in this life. There are many lightening strikes that threaten to take you out, to end your life. Many you do not even see coming. You check your phone for the weather report, and then plan accordingly.
What of the blessing that comes after the storm? The bending of a place, of a heart. The way the air smells. I cannot describe it, except to say fresh heaven. The darkening of the earth, the cleansing of a scene…the awakening of a soul.
It’s the way the rain drops cling to the window panes, the river is recharged, and flows with a renewed zest over the boulders beneath.
It is renewed life. The darkness disepates, and the sun parts the clouds, and shines down its lovely self upon the wedding guests. There is distant thunder to be heard, and as the gentle breeze sings through the trees, droplets of fresh hope fall on our faces.
We don’t realize it at the time, but we are being reborn. We braved the storm, and we clung to the promise that this indeed will pass, and we will stand firm. We will not surrender to hopelessness or despair. No way…we got us some celebrating to do.
So celebrate we did….dampened shoes, soaking lawns and puddles abounded, but we jumped in, and we were present. It was an incredible time, made that more precious, because we waited out the storm, we believed that there would be blue sky, and our hope was fulfilled.