The temperature is rising and I can see the steam in the air.
Six little gifts are up; 2 already in swim suits, 1 in only the top of her swim suit, 1 in a diaper with a towel in tow, and 2 newly baptized believers just now dragging to the kitchen for breakfast.
It is 8:30 and I long for a boring day of laundry and dishes, and scheduled family naps-in the blessed gift of air conditioning.
But to these little people who are eager to swim and lounge by the pool, we are already late to the fun!
“Why do you have to get a shower, mama?”, they ask. “You are going to sweat your make-up off anyway.”
Like I need a reminder.
We load the car in the sweltering heat and a few minutes later, Elli is the first one in the pool. I spray the babies with sunscreen and I pull up a chair to wait.
In only a few minutes, the splashing will cease and the kids will pile out of the pool and eat their lunches in a hurry. They will wrap themselves in towels and grab their buckets. Some will run barefoot, but some will insist on their flip flops.
We haven’t just come to swim today. We have also come to glean Honey’s blueberry vines.
It is July and the vines are heavy with berries.
Twelve little hands reach into the vines and pluck them as fast as they can. It’s a race, you know. Everything is a race.
Our buckets begin to fill and my mind fills with thoughts of homemade blueberry cheesecake ice cream, blueberry crumb cake, muffins, homemade blueberry pie, and jam.
If only my kids could experience the goodness of these blueberries that they are so eagerly picking. They are sweating and swatting bugs and being scratched by vines. They are stretching high to reach the ripe berries and them reaching down low to drop them into their buckets.
But none of these little people eat blueberries. They don’t like them fresh, cooked, frozen, dipped in chocolate, or mashed and spread on toast.
I think they are missing the real “fruit” of their labor, but seeing those huge smiles on their faces and I get a different picture.
For these blueberry pickers, joy is not found in the anticipation of blueberry goodness tomorrow. Their joy is found in the experience of just picking berries today.
A lesson to be learned, again and again, for this blueberry loving mama.