What Raspberries Teach Me About Life


Last night I futzed in the garden: a little tomato trimming, a little beet thinning, a little raspberry picking.  I had intended to begin (again) listening to War and Peace, but both my iPod and MP3 needed charging.

Well, I thought, I guess I’ll just think.  I don’t know why, but when I think in the garden I get all philosophical.  Not like Kierkegaard or Kant: just some elementary, didactic, flannel-graph object lessons.    

Here’s what I thought, just to prove that anyone could write those little Everything I Need to Know books.

What Raspberries Teach Me About Life

1.   The best position is to bend down low and look up.

2.   Stretching beyond your reach is worth it. 

3.   Don’t be afraid of of a few scratches. 

4.   Work is its own reward, but a fresh raspberry popped in the mouth is a bonus.

5.   The dried up raspberries represent lost opportunities.  Don’t despair.  Keep moving. Every life has *bushels* of lost opportunities.  Pluck them off and feed them to the dog.

6.   One can’t overstate the benefit of looking at a situation from many different angles. Both sides now.

7.   Even when you are certain you’ve picked every ripe raspberry –even then– there’s always more jewels waiting to be found. 

8.   Corollary: another person will be able to see what you can’t.

9.   Cultivating raspberries, which are essentially a weed, requires no great skill. God made the plants, sent the sun, gave the rain.  The fruit is a gift. 

10.   Early risers have moral high ground; sunset, however, is a superlative harvest setting.

11.  Raspberries mature at different rates from others in the same cluster. When they reach fruition, they are sweet, regardless if they are early or late. Like people.

12.  Ripe berries don’t need to be persuaded. The softest touch and they are ready to leave! If the berry resists, wait. A little time, a little sun, a little water, a little patience. The readiness is all.