Monday, May 23, 2016

May 23, 2016 - An Old Friend

Another spring comes to the old barn in the field.  The grass is green, the trees are starting to leaf out, the air is fragrant, and everywhere there’s a sense of peace.  This old barn is another one of those markers I’ve mentioned that keep me on the path.  I know when I pass the old barn I’ll soon be coming to the strawberry fields.  Of course, that reminds me that there will be a lot of work to do in another month if I’m going to put by enough strawberry jam for the year.

An old friend.

And, of course, I will.  Strawberries only come once a year for a couple of weeks, so if I’m going to put enough away, I have to get very busy.  I am down to my last jar as it is, and that won’t do at all.  Life without homemade strawberry jam is dull, indeed.  I’m glad to have the old barn to remind me of such things.  He’s a good friend and always gives me enough time to get ready.

After I pick all the berries, I’ll head for home and pass by the old barn again.  The grass ought to be pretty high by then, although it will be higher still before they start haying the field.  He oversees the work, the barn does, and he’s quite good at it.  He has never missed a summer of work in over 150 years.  That’s loyalty.  And after the haying, he’ll keep the stacks nice and dry.

When I drive by the old barn in the winter, I think about my jam because the two always go hand in hand in my mind.  Chances are, I will have had some just that morning so it will still be fresh in my thoughts.  It’s comforting to think about it when the ice and snow is everywhere.  I like to call it “sunshine in a jar.”  It reminds me of sunny fields, singing birds, hard labor in the heat, soft breezes, and the old barn.  One taste and I’m back in the sunny field with my old friend even in February.  It’s nice to have a friend like that.

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