There’s only one clay pot of strawberries that I maintain but it has several fruit producing plants in it if that counts for anything. Among one of life‘s many little blessings is the fact that, during Covid, the berries produced in this micro-crop have been the sweetest in the fifteen years that I’ve grown them. I realize that it could very well be that I’ve given them as much attention as one would give a spouse or partner one was really, really over the moon about.
Now what you see in the out-of-focus background of this photo is a lovely set of melodious wind chimes and a painted wooden sign. The sign was a gift several years ago, carefully crafted by a creative friend, our pastor‘s wife at the time. She knew of my love for Shakespeare and in particular the outdoor Shakespearean theater in Ashland, Oregon. She also knew that there was a particular significance to me for the year 1977. She did her research to discover the titles of the plays that were performed in that special year. Again, through investigation, she found images of the ivy lined inner walls of the outdoor theater that were hung with golden yellow shields, each displaying the Shakespearean plays of seasons past.
The shield is a source of many good memories, happy times, of gratitude for unexpected heartfelt gifts, and also of mistaken identity. Early on a friendly neighbor had me pegged for a stage actress, largely due to the prominently displayed shield and somewhat due to what they claimed was my “elusive behavior.“
I just have to laugh (or cry) as I wonder, is that the vibe I gave off or was it the lens (and inaccurate judgement) of the observer?
The shiny red berries I’m about to enjoy might not be as sweet as I have my palate primed to expect. My own judgement of them will be revealed momentarily as I test them out in my smoothie. Test them, get to know them, if you will. It often takes more than external observation to discover the actual essence of a berry. . . or a person.