I stood on a steep, wooded trail eating raspberries by the
handful.  In that moment I was only my
outstretched arm, greedy fingers prying plump berries from large clusters.  I was eyes trained on the color red hiding
beneath green leaves; I was only a gaping mouth, consuming.  

Eventually my eyes lifted and I realized the berries covered the mountainside – I could
never eat them all.  Then I slowed and
began to taste again, the abundance, the red juice a communion connecting me
again to the grace and mercy that dwells among us.  

This morning I took my kids hiking.  We walked around the edges of soybean fields,
through cool shaded woods.  All along the trail berries hung, bright jewels singing their siren songs of
sweetness.  Again we were all arms,
reaching, grabbing, mouths consuming.  

Isaiah dove into the woods like a hound on the hunt, throwing poison ivy
caution to the wind.  Finally, satisfied,
he lifted his shirt and rubbed his soft, round belly, “Me full, Mommy.”   

After lunch (fresh berries on yogurt) we ended up in the
garden.  We clambered about, hunter
gatherers careful to keep our feet from the vines and leaves.  The garden is a sea of
green layered on top of green and our eyes played tricks on us – how to tell
the green of a cucumber from its vine, the dark emerald of a melon from the
leaf that shades it.  Cucumbers hid, giant ones nestled in among the
zucchini bushes.  The harvest was too
great for five pairs of hands to bear, so we filled the red wagon and pulled it
up to the house.  

Wherever Jesus shows up in the Bible, there is abundance – great
vats of wine that refuse to run out, bread that rises to the occasion of feeding
a crowd, catches of fish that nearly sink the boats.  I am not a fisherman and the bread we took
to the lake last night to feed the ducks lasted about as long as I
thought it should.  But right now there’s
a strainer of blood-red raspberries in my kitchen sink and somehow I know that grace and mercy dwell still in the woods, the garden, in the
abundance of the earth giving and giving, as it does.  

Photo source here.  Linking with Sandra and Unforced Rhythms.

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