Bittersweet Blackberries…..

A few weeks ago, the Farmer and I were riding over one of our pastures when we came upon a huge patch of blackberry bushes.  We jumped off the Ranger and began to gather a sweet afternoon snack of  plump and delicious blackberries.

The berries had just begun to ripen and the vines were laden with hundreds of red berries. I looked at the tangled berry vines, my mind begin to envision what these bushes would look like in a few days, the berries going from red to black.  I was thinking of blackberry cobbler, jam, and even blackberry pepper jelly!

As I began to dream outloud, the Farmer casually remarked, “….better get here quick, because a few more days these vines will be gone….”  I protested loudly – “WHY?”

And then he said something profound – something we could use in our every area of our life – family, faith, finances, field of expertise:  “This ground is meant for taking care of my cattle – not to grow berries.”   He went on to elaborate that this area should have been mowed weeks before but it had not been done, and the vines had “taken over”.  If managed properly, this area of ground, although a small section, would have been profitable pasture for feeding of his cows – instead it was just a sweet afternoon snack.

The berries were sweet on that hot afternoon – but after his comments,  I thought bittersweet.  One of the definitions of “bittersweet” is “……pleasure mingled with pain or regret….”  How many times do we make a choice that seems sweet and pleasurable for a moment – but that choice results in taking our focus, our time and and our energy away from our goals, our mission in life – our true vision of what we want our life to be.

We choose to sleep too late or too little, eat unwisely or too much,  work too much or too little, and our lives can become like these blackberries bushes and the TRUE intent and design of our lives gets strangled and choked out.

So….the vines were mowed.  I didn’t make blackberry jelly or jam or cobbler.  But those choices –  for us – for this time in our lives – were good choices.  He needed the ground for his cows.  I needed to focus on the goals I have set to accomplish before the end of July.

The Farmer is pretty wise.  I should listen to him more.  Just don’t tell him I said it!

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7 Responses to “Bittersweet Blackberries…..”


  1. 1 Cindy Leger June 24, 2011 at 8:59 am

    This is awesome Louise!

  2. 2 Louise Thaxton June 24, 2011 at 9:02 am

    Thanks so much, Cindy! It was a lesson for me!

  3. 3 rk June 24, 2011 at 11:11 am

    Love love love the thoughts from todays blog.

  4. 5 Nathan June 24, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    Loved the blackberry lesson Louise. It did remind me though of summer days long ago in my childhood when I would pick blackberries on my uncle’s farm up in Kansas. But there was another little twist to those blackberries that made them bittersweet and that was the chiggers that always seemed to come along with picking those berries. My Aunt Stella would always tell us to take a clorox bath before evening, but sometimes I got distracted with play or other adventures. And if I didn’t take that bath, I would suffer for days to come. Bittersweet indeed.

    Nathan

  5. 6 Beverly Anderson June 24, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    Great memories for me as well! I lived on a farm in ND while very young and my Dad was stationed at the nearby Air Force Base. We have “oodles” of red raspberry bushes and how sweet they were on my cereal in the morning or over our evening ice cream…..yummy!


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