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Monday, April 19, 2010

Contemplating Raspberries

Saturday was a fun day. In addition to Graeme's soccer game and cleaning the house, we decided to get a bit of work done in the yard. Brian tilled the garden....

.....while I weeded the raspberries, something I've been meaning to do for quite a while. It's hard to tell in this picture, but there isn't nearly as much grass and other non-raspberry plants in this bed now.

Personally, I believe that the only time it is even possible to weed the raspberries is in the early spring before the bees discover them so I've definitely been feeling some urgency to get it done. However, this particular weeding adventure was somewhat spur of the moment so I went into it a little less than prepared.

(Note to self: long sleeves and garden gloves are a much better way to go when weeding raspberries)

To keep my mind off the pain of weeding, I began to contemplate the raspberries and the process of caring for them. Raspberries are interesting creatures. They grow like weeds in rocky soil and harsh conditions. I've seen them thrive in the heat and sun of St. George and the wind and cold of Hyrum. Of course they do better with good soil and moderate conditions, fertilizer and water, but they're tough little things and will find a way to survive no matter what. This toughness has caused raspberries to develop some interesting survival traits. They're covered with sharp, nasty little thorns, (see picture above) the berries are small and well hidden and bees love them! Because of these things, caring for and harvesting raspberries is a lot of work for a small reward.
For some strange reason my mind next drifted to the struggles of parenting. My kids are interesting creatures. Maybe not quite as tough as raspberries, but every bit as prickly and difficult to work with, especially as they approach teenage years. Chloe. Anyway, I often feel just as unprepared to deal with them as I was to weed the raspberries on Saturday. And, they are a TON of work for what often seems to be a small reward.
So what's my point here? Well, I realized that the raspberries weren't trying to be difficult, it's just the way they are. It would be silly to be angry at the raspberries for scratching me and it's silly to be angry at my children when they make my life hard. They're not trying to be naughty or difficult, it's just the result of learning to survive in this often harsh climate they've been planted in. It's also not their fault that I'm completely unprepared for the challenges of parenting. Who is, really, until they've gone through it 10 or 12 times?
Who knew raspberries were so good for self-realization?


Pat said...

Oh you're really going to enjoy those raspberries this summer. Hard work makes us enjoy the "fruits" of our labor. Good for you, looks like you guys got lots done.

sues2u2 said...

I always learn something when I come to your blog. Maybe this will help me deal w/ the creepy crawlies too. OH, yeah, & my kids! *smacks head* Can't forget the kids!! *g*

Seriously, your garden looks beautiful!!! And your raspberry sticks make me jealous! But not your poor arms. They make me sad. *boo,hoo*

Love ya!

giggle, giggle