blackberry kisses

Date June 18, 2008

The sun is warm and welcoming in Manizales today.  Her rays are streaked across the mountains and the green, green grass and I am happy to be here.  The children are laughing, thoughts of summer and five weeks of freedom on their faces.  And there are blackberries on my desk.

The bag is brimming with the fresh berries and the students grin as I plunge my hand in excitedly for the sweetest of the bunch.  Two or nine handfuls later, my finger tips are stained purple and my lips share their hue.  We giggle at the enjoyment one can find in fruit and freedom and they gather at my feet as I tell them about a book that I adore.  And there are blackberries.

The main character of the story vividly remembers her mother.  One memory in particular is seared into the depths of her.  Her mother in the yard, hands outstretched with a mouthful of blackberries.  She throws her arms around a tree and kisses it in the noonday heat.  The young girl watches the absurdity from her windowWalk Two Moons, waits on her mother to leave and then rushes down to the tree.  The rich purple imprint of her mother’s lips is still fresh on the bark.

I want to be that mother.  The mother who knows that the smallest, sweetest things in life are often purple and meant to be shared.  The mother whose daughter watches in awe from an upstairs window.  The mother that inspires wonder and praises the Earth for her goodness with hugs and summer dances.  The mother that leaves blackberry kisses on trees and stories for daughters to tell.

4 Responses to “blackberry kisses”

  1. Lou said:

    Wonderful story! Blackberries hold wonderful memories for me as well. I used to stay with Grand Dorse during the summer while mother was at work. I have very vivid and destinct memories of summer days with my Grandmother Dorothy. Grandmother Dorothy is what I always called her until the last few years. Now back to my memories: We spent several summer mornings in the blackberry patch and later we would enjoy jellies and cobblers that were simply out of this world.

    More memories:
    Sitting under those huge trees while Grand Dorse, Aunt Ruth, Aunt Louise, and Aunt Gladys cut corn of to put up.
    A table full of hot fresh food and hay hawlers gathered aroung praising MY grandmother for such a great meal.

    I miss my Grand Dorse terribly!

  2. Summer said:

    Em, my favorite part of the post: “two or nine handfuls later.” I can definitely buy into your dream. I think some of the simplest pleasures come from nature, and I hope to pass that on to my own children some day.

  3. Brittany said:

    You should start Emily’s Book Club. It would be like Oprah’s, but for kids books.

  4. Trava said:

    The Book Club is a great idea. I just hope you write one. I’d buy the first one! Of course you’d have to sign it!