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Location: Clearwater, South Carolina, United States

Thursday, February 15, 2007


As I sit and munch the frozen delights of last year’s blueberry harvest, I ponder many things. One of these is whether or not I really know the depths of the meaning of the word ponder. I read the meaning as: considering something deeply and thoroughly or to meditate. Similarly it means to weigh carefully in the mind or consider thoughtfully. It would probably depend on whether the thing pondered was actually ponderable: worth serious consideration or having appreciable weight.

Then to consider the subject ponderable, it begs the question as to whether it is worthy of being pondered by the general population or if it should be considered only on an individual level. Take the subject of blueberries, since that was what I was joyfully consuming when I suddenly realized I was also pondering – even this was surprising to me, that I could do two things at one time. If I had not picked these tasty orbs of flavor myself and had never been around blueberry plants, I might not have known exactly how they came into being.

The bare branches of the blueberry bushes during last winter came to mind. Then there was the tiny swelling of buds, keyed by the ground temperature possibly more than that of the air. Almost overnight there were hundreds of small flowers and then the leaves that give the plant life. Then the bees appeared from somewhere, visiting, feeding from, and during the process, pollinating each flower. It was as though they had a firm agreement of mutual cooperative assistance – something like ‘you can feed if you take the pollen around to the other flowers’.

The tiny petals of the pollinated flower drop and a wee green berry starts to grow. If the plant is healthy and ground moisture is sufficient, it sends sap to the berry and it develops to full size. Even if one is pondering the berries and watching every day, it seems that they start suddenly to turn color. The whole process is amazing to me in that the berry either receives or makes for itself a ripening agent – possibly some sort of enzyme – and slowly ripens. Then the color turns to a deep bluish purple, almost black, but the color is only one indicator of ripeness.

It takes a practiced eye and hand to really tell if the berry is totally ripe. There must be an absence of any reddish tint and a certain slight give to the berry skin with the pressure of the touch. If that fails, there is always the taste method. If one pops a berry in their mouth and the face goes through all sorts of sour contortions, the small product was not ready yet. But if the flavor of the berry explodes on the tongue in a symphony of delightful sweet-tartness, it was ready to pick and you were in the right place at the right time and were the winner of the berry tasting contest.

As you may detect from my writings, I take great delight in caring for the plants on Blueberry Hill and in watching them grow and produce. It seems to me that folks would do much better if they found things they could take joy in rather than in useless things that only end up causing them frustration. As I have heard said many times, the joy of the Lord is my strength. ec


Blogger Brenda said...

Pondering has long been one of my favorite activities. I believe pondering is much more deep and meaningful than thinking. Don't you?

2/16/2007 07:47:00 AM  
Blogger mreddie said...

Brenda - I agree, much more deep and meaningful, especially if one does the pondering from a comfortable chair while watching a gentle breeze move the leaves around outside or while gazing into a fire in the fireplace. ec

2/16/2007 10:26:00 AM  
Blogger Bonita said...

I sometimes wonder at what 'stage' these store-bought blueberries are when we buy them; I have yet to taste anything too flavorful and sweet, as you'd taste while on a hike up in the mountains. We do buy them, though, and I put them in the blender with a bit of yogurt. Soooooo good.

2/16/2007 11:49:00 AM  
Blogger JunieRose2005 said...

ec- I bet you have to do A LOT of tast-testing to know when they are just right! Right? ;)

A job I wouldn't mind having!


2/16/2007 02:04:00 PM  
Blogger Kila said...

I agree.

And thank you for transporting me away from a cold winter day for a few minutes!

2/16/2007 08:12:00 PM  
Blogger mreddie said...

Bonita - My nephew in South Georgia raises blueberries - he has several acres of them. We consume ours fresh or frozen, in cobblers or in one of my favorite desserts - "blueberries in the snow".

Junierose - Sounds like you might have picked some berries of some sort as well - many have to be tasted to make sure they are just right. :)

Kila - Glad to warm your thoughts a bit - I'm still trying to get through with my pruning before our early spring comes along. ec

2/16/2007 09:35:00 PM  
Blogger Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

I have never pondered the subject of blueberries. I have pondered other things, such as why I am presently holding my cat in one arm and typing with one hand.

2/17/2007 07:05:00 PM  
Blogger mreddie said...

SSN - Pondering the cat in one arm situation - could it possibly be to keep his claws out of your leg? :) ec

2/17/2007 10:45:00 PM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

Well, I enjoy doing things on the computer, but it's sure causing me frustration lately. Too many shutdowns. :( Keep on enjoying the hill.

2/18/2007 09:30:00 AM  
Blogger mreddie said...

AC - Computer problems would drive me to go out and prune blueberries. :) ec

2/19/2007 09:49:00 PM  

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