There is something about summer and blackberries. They just go together. I remember as a kid getting dressed to pick berries the color of midnight as they weighed down the bush. I would wear my boots, because my grandmother said they would protect against snakes. She didn’t like snakes at all. Then my jeans were tucked into the boots to protect from chiggers. I had on long sleeves to protect from briars and my hair was braided to protect from other bugs. I remember hearing the berries hit the bottom of the bucket, plop, plop…until the bottom was covered. The sun beat down and the sweat mixed with the purple juice on my fingers. Once the bucket was full, we took the black treasure into the kitchen to begin the summer ritual of cobbler making. The berries soaked in the kitchen sink, while my mom pulled out the ones that were not just right. My sister and grandmother made the dough, while mom cooked the berries with just the right amount of sugar. The best part of the cobbler was the purple tongues after it was eaten. Even the grown ups had purple smiles.
Yesterday, we picked blackberries. Actually, we pulled up the blackberry bushes that were taking over our yard. It made for easy picking for me and the kids. We sat on the driveway and Bill brought the berries to us. Then the empty bushes were tossed onto the pile. Easy. Still itchy, with lots of bugs but we did not have to dig through the briars to get the fruit. I made a cobbler. Our purple tongues matched our purple stained fingers when we were through. Another summer ritual satisfied as the katydids began to sing to the moon. I love the summer!