19 March 2011

Consolation

When I was a child, blackberries were everywhere. We would traipse through creeks and along railway embankments with buckets covered in an old stocking and pick and pick and pick, coming home with scratched legs, purple stains around our mouths and a bucket of blackberries to boot.

But blackberries are not native, and choke the life out of all the local plants. Late in my childhood a massive campaign was started to poison them all; suddenly, wild blackberries were unsafe to eat, and gradually disappeared.

But one property near my house has a huge blackberry hedge. They never poison it, and I don't care. Because for a few blissful months of the year, just as I'm sad about summer ending, I can console myself every time I wander past by picking as many ripe blackberries as I can fight the wasps for. It's my favourite berry, and reminds me of my childhood. I find enough to sooth both hunger and thirst within minutes as I wander along the hedge towards the bus stop.

It makes the turn of seasons all worth it.