Strawberries!

Wild Strawberry plants
Wild Strawberry plants

Big strawberries cut up on your cereal or in your oatmeal are great, but they cannot beat the taste of a tiny wild strawberry. Those little berries explode in your mouth with a flavor all out of proportion to their size.

We were backpacking with a group of Arizona teens from our congregation in the Rockies of Colorado. It was a beautiful summer day, but the trail was steep. It was hard going, making it easy to lose yourself in your thoughts. Put one foot in front of the other and keep going, but it seems like all you can think about is, “When will we stop?”

On the other hand, the mountains stood out in bolder relief as we approached the tree line. The wildflowers in the meadows were spectacular. Patches of snow were refreshing. It was a sensory extravaganza! It wasn’t far to the little lake now, and people pressed on, ready to drop their heavy loads, but then I noticed my two kids, John and Charlotte, were missing. I wasn’t worried because they had been hiking and climbing since they were babes, but I was curious. The crowd marched on, and I walked back down the trail.

There they were, grinning from ear to ear with a secret. I gave them the “father-eye.” Then they confessed. Strawberries! Tiny mountain strawberries! Everyone else had walked by God’s Garden. They had seen the same green plants, the long red streamers, and the little fruit, but they had walked on by.

Henry David Thoreau was correct. “It’s not what you look at that matters. It’s what you see.”

What will you see today? (Yes, I made them share their berry bounty with me too.)

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