When you live in an area as verdant as I do, it’s easy to keep the calendar by when plants come into bloom and when it is time to harvest all the bounty that surrounds us. Since living here in the Pacific Northwest, I’ve learned that dandelions flush in May, foxgloves bloom in mid June and they are replaced by purple fireweed in July. In August, furry spikes of hardhack cover the roadsides. In the early February, Indian plum puts out leaves first and nettles start sprouting in march.
The summer months offer a tasty way of keeping the calendar; around here we are overrun with berries. Some of these berries are medicinal and some of them only offer medicine for the senses like sweet treats, the colors of faceted gemstones, bright lanterns and robins eggs. With so many varieties around I’ve learned to keep a careful watch and remember when to start looking for the harvest. There are yet a few berries remaining from the summer’s glory days, the rest are mostly memories. But seasons change and next year, just as the one before, the cycle of abundance will begin again.
May- the first delicate berries arrive
June- keep looking, there is more ripening on the vines
The summer offers so many gifts. The amazing thing is that there are MORE berries, my list stops short to include only the most palatable varieties. Imagine what it means to have too many berries! Perhaps you live in a place where you are not blessed with fruit that falls off of the bushes as we are, but look around. The planet is a lesson in abundance; wildflowers, rivers, flatlands and deserts all offer their gifts. Some places have things to be eaten, some places have pure serenity and some have strong medicine. Some places offer simple living, temperate ecosystems, too much water, too much snow, too much heat or simply too much visual beauty. Take note of it all, make a list of those things that are abundant, be thankful and if you can, eat too many berries.