The season was short here, or so I was told, I'm no expert on these matters. The unexpected late May frost put a damper on the much anticipated strawberry season, shortening the already precious few weeks to harvest these gems.
But frost or not, the berries were no less delicious!
We don't go every year to pick berries but it's something we enjoy doing! I'm not one to put up bushel after bushel to make jam or to freeze. No, we usually only pick a few baskets, eating many sweet berries as they are and making a few delicious treats with the rest.
It's a beautiful season and yet it's over so quick...
I've been pondering on that thought for a time now...the quickness of time passing...especially for these Littles of mine. They grow overnight, it seems! The other day my eldest was playing and I was just sitting and watching her. She was running about the yard and though still very much little, I noticed the length of her limbs.
She's all legs...and arms....and where did my baby go?
I dress my actual 'baby' in clothes that once adorned this big girl and marvel how it was only a moment ago... a moment ago that she, my long limbed lady, was toddling about in sweet summer dresses, with rolls and cheeks of pure pinch-ability!
And it's funny how life imitates it's self....this short season of strawberry picking is an echo of these fast fleeting days of Littles! Such a sweet time, labour intensive at moments, but worth it all and gone before you know it!
There is this time of caring for them, nurturing them, protecting them. You cultivate the soil, giving them the best start you can. Then as they grow; it's continual watering. The watering of lessons, truths and guidance. They blossom! And then you watch as your little berry bushes produce fruit...and are now independent of you....and their fruit not yours...but theirs... Oh sure, they still need you, now and again. When they need a little extra watering, or to clear away some bugs...possibly and infestation... and just to make sure that they're growing well. But overall, the time comes when they are no longer in your care and you have to just watch them and see how they manage.
I have a friend who's children span the elementary through to end of high school ages, with her eldest heading off in the fall to post-secondary. She tells me all the time, "It was easier when they were little!"
I listen to her words, heed them, if you will. She's walked this path, she knows how the time flies and she's ministering truth to me! I know she is not belittling the hard, tiring days of diapering, constant neediness, dressings, mess cleaning, disciplining but her words remind me of the sweet simple joys of this time!
I do, heed her words, and those of others who constantly say, "It flies by so fast!". I make sure to walk these truths out; to enjoy these busy days, days of constant requiring of me and my time! No, this does not mean I play with my kids all the day long. We do not do hours of crafts or outdoor play together. But it means, I pause when they do ask and think. "Would I regret, not taking this moment, to be with them??"
Because dishes still need to get done, food has to be made, grocery lists complied and yes, mommy needs that quiet cup of hot coffee! But it means, for me, pausing to evaluate what I am doing and asking, "can it wait?"...
I, sadly, know that life is so precious and it can be gone in an instant. I was thinking about it, the other day...while mowing my lawn....I've lost three special people in the last eleven years...not a record I hope to uphold....and there were more, but these three were taken in, what seems like, a matter of moments.
Shortly after our second was born, I lost a baby. I went in for the ultra sound, expecting much and left heavy hearted. Three years ago, my dad was away on vacation. He called me on my birthday and then just over a week later, we were in the hospital having to say our final "good bye". And then, just a few short weeks ago, I lost my dear, dear friend. A strong women, who fought a good, hard battle and yet, I still can't wrap my head around the idea that she's gone....
It's these times, when you see, when you really see, just how precious and fleeting life truly is. How you don't know, and that in an instant your world can be shaken. It's moments likes these that cause me to cultivate my little strawberry bushes with extra tender care! To truly treasure the hard work it takes to raise them. It's what causes me to pull myself away from my pursuits, to get on the floor, or to read that book the eighteenth time or to just sit and colour while a counter sits, full of dishes, behind me.
Strawberry fields forever....it may feel like it some days...but the harvest will come and eventually the field will be bare...
And so, I remind myself daily, that time flies by and to remember that sometimes the seasons get cut short.... but I can make the most of today, whatever that looks like and enjoy these Littles....while they are still little. I can get my hands dirty all the while making my heart happy! And just as the sweet taste of succulent berries does not quickly leave your memory, neither will these busy but precious days of Littles leave mine...