It’s blackberry time again. The brambles have been loaded with promise for a couple of weeks – tight red and green berries in hard knots. All it has required is patience for them to ripen into fat, juicy, purpley-black loveliness.
This year there seems to be an even more inexhaustible supply of blackberries. I’ve been out three times blackberrying already and there’s weeks left on them yet. It’s one of the things I love about blackberries – it feels like an impossibility to pick every last one. There’s always fruit left behind for the next person, even when you’ve filled your buckets, tubs and bags to the brim.
Of all the fruits to forage, blackberries are the easiest to find, the simplest to use and the most abundant. They’re the most hopeful of all the hedgerow, because even when you think you’ve got enough, you can’t help but go back for more. Even though they prickle you and scratch your hands and legs, still you’ll reach that little bit further to get that one super-juicy one just out of reach… and that other just beyond it… oh and that one too. A little bit of pain doesn’t seem to matter for such a delightful gift.
Blackberries are the ultimate symbol of hope. The summer may be ending, but there’s an abundance to be found if you’ll reach for it.