So very much of life is symbolic of much deeper truths.
I love fruit; it’s my favorite type of food. I’m quite fond of jams, preserves and jellies as a way to have fruit out of season. This is the first year our strawberries have produced enough to begin the process of making jam. I refuse to spray them for insects, so some of the fruit is pretty ugly, with scars and bite marks. Still, it’s just about worth the trouble.
Even better is the wild fruit and volunteer crops popping up around here.
There’s the apple tree behind my house, slowly dying and there won’t be quite so many this year. I believe if I cut off the dying parts, it will probably regenerate, but that takes years to produce fruit. Still, it has to be done. The pear tree a mile away in someone’s front yard, which all and sundry are freely welcome to harvest, is the best fresh eating pears I’ve ever had. I gorge on them during season. I also found a volunteer peach tree and some other apple and pear trees around here.
The early crop blackberries growing in this area are already putting out green clusters. The late crop is decked with white flowers, signaling a good harvest coming later in the summer. We are getting good rains so they should be abundant. Last year I scavenged and got two gallons. During better years I can get up to six gallons leaving a lot of lesser berries for others to eat. Then there’s the sand plums, and I keep scouting for more.
All it takes is the effort for most of this stuff. Half of it is knowing what to look for, and that’s not as simple as it sounds. Late crop blackberries are best by far, but they only grow in certain areas and have vicious thorns. You can only harvest the outside edge of any patches where they grow, and that’s only in sandy soil, high ground and out in open areas away from shade. While early crop blackberries grow all over the place, only where the sun hits them to they actually produce berries. But you have to walk around to gather them, and risk all sorts of other threats: poison ivy, chiggers and deer ticks love the same areas. But I’ve learned to spot likely areas while out riding, and found some great harvests that way.
Some of the finest, wisest minds in this world — perhaps the very finest available — are not in high profile positions, known by name. The best Christian teachers I ever encountered are people you’ve never heard of, people you could hardly find if I told you their names. The deepest thinkers were not professional academics, but people who did the most ordinary things. The face of God glows behind the masks of some folks you’d never give a second glance.
If you don’t know what He looks like, and aren’t looking for Him, you’ll never see Him.