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I am a wife, mother, teacher, runner, baker, fund-raiser, reader, watcher of movies, dog-lover, writer, music-lover and foodie. So - I'm a woman of many moods! I write and share in order to teach and enrich. I currently have two blogs going: The Kitchen Refugee, and A Mile At A Time. The first is about time spent in the kitchen and the second about time spent on the road. Frequently the two roads intersect!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Bounty of Berries

I just came down from atop Mt. Emily, our local northern landmark.  Although the sky looked iffy, I went anyway, figuring I could beat the rain, and I did (mostly). 

It’s funny, when people talk about picking huckleberries, they speak in terms of quantities per hour.  “I picked a gallon in two hours!,” or “We only got a couple cups all afternoon.”  I realize that for myself, huckleberry picking is one of those things that’s all about the journey, not the destination.  Yes I want to come back with some berries to show for my time and effort, but I realized today that I measure successful picking differently than most. 

My time spent picking huckleberries is a mediation of sorts.  While I can’t ever seem to still my mind during actual meditation, I can easily slip into the hum of nature, and delve into the abyss of quiet-mindedness while picking berries.  Maybe it’s the simple act of hunting and gathering that allows my spirit to rest in a primal place.  Maybe it’s being surrounded by abundance that reminds me that the universe is good, and full, and generous.  I don’t know what it is exactly, but it’s always the exact therapy I need.

Today, I picked three hours of peace.  

I’m still unemployed.  I still have dishes in my sink and a house for sale.  But I have peace.  As I re-enter my house full of dishes, and laundry, and worry, I’ll try to hang onto the mountain.  My hands are stained a purple calm, my feet remember the dusty soil, and my heart is beating to the rhythm of the woods.

My Help is in the Mountain
by Nancy Wood

My help is in the mountain 
where I take myself to heal
the earthly wounds
that people give to me.

I find a rock with sun on it,
and a stream where the water runs gentle,
and the trees which one by one
give me company.

So must I stay for long time,
until I have grown from the rock, 
and the stream is running through me,
and I cannot tell myself from one tall tree.

Then I know that nothing touches me,
nor makes me run away.
My help is in the mountain
that I take away with me.

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