Why is it that blueberries ripen during the hottest and most humid days of summer? This evening will find me balancing precariously on a step ladder, leaning over and reaching for the biggest and plumpest berries that always seem to grow just out of reach at the top of the bush. We had an afternoon shower today and that cooled us off to a balmy 90 degrees but it also shot the humidity level even higher. Honestly, I look out the window and I start sweating. Anyhow, back to my story of how miserable it will be out there. If it were just the heat and humidity, that would be enough, but the sweat will drench my clothes and sting my eyes. It is a constant battle against the gnats, flies, and ants. But once these berries start to ripen, they will continue to ripen at such a pace that you have to pick them every day. Also, if you miss a day you may be sure that the birds (who love blueberries) will not.
We currently have 18 young bushes on our farm and have plans to add even more. We will hire out help to pick these bushes when they mature and we will sell these berries along with our other farm products, but for our own personal stash of blueberries, I pick 3 bushes at my parent’s farm. One of the bushes is old and massive. From this bush alone I pick enough berries to fill our freezer and last my wife and I (we make smoothies with them for breakfast) for an entire year. I also gather a lot of wool from these bushes.
Wool Gather: verb: indulge in aimless thoughts and daydreams.
As hot and miserable as it might be outside, my mind soon begins to “gather wool” as my fingers deftly pluck the hanging berries and drop them into my bucket. Time passes quickly when you begin to “gather wool” and before you know it, your bucket is full. What kind of wool do I gather? Whatever kind pleases me. I may recount a childhood adventure, I may think of a long lost friend, I may even revisit Christmases of yesteryear while the sweat drips from my brow. I look forward to my berry picking. It makes me stop and pause from my busy routine. It gives me a chance to remember, reflect. It gives me an opportunity to recall some long forgotten memory that warms my heart and makes me smile. I like picking berries. And gathering wool.
My thoughts ran a wool-gathering. ~ Miguel de Cervantes