I go to my secret stash. Known to a few, picked only by me. This yearly ritual of mine, varying by days within the same two glorious weeks in August. Never knowing how bountiful or how many times I can enjoy the picking; is always a surprise. While some years are almost unbearable hot, with swarms of mosquitoes, some are cool and pleasant. The first gathering of this season fed the soul as well as the tongue.

It had rained for most of the day. Droplets of clean rainwater clung to the branches, leaves and berries like bright flawless diamonds. The berries were plentiful and ripe to falling into my outstretched hand. Listening to the wind lazily stir the trees and the incessant buzzing of desperately hungry mosquitoes. A gentle rain begins to fall. It’s tempo, music to my ears. Face up-turned, eyes close as the water caresses in softly falling drops. Dancing berries in the breeze catches my ear like the tinkle of bells singing sweetly. The stress of the day fades away as I sit in the arms of the wild raspberries.

Avie Layne 2012