Solitude Before Work

I sit here in my study

Gathering thoughts like blueberries on a field of bushes in July

I tell myself there are many there

But they don't volunteer for the picking.

I arouse myself from complacency like the sweaty, tired field laborer

who has to pick another pail full to meet a quota.

But once I start, it's not labor at all.

Even now, the resistance falls away and the berries fall into my hand freely.

And so I can recall the percussive clunk-clunk of those berries pinging into the empty tin pail

and the symphony of blueberry pail percussion across the field of content, quiet pickers

who have no quota, just the joy of harvest.

Their smooth, dull blue skin invites the bite.

For blueberry pies, and ice cream with berries, or whipped cream on top, or just plain nuggets of rich, blue, juicy morsels releasing their riches in your mouth.

The symphony is getting quieter. The pails are fuller and the berries don't ping.

Another cluster in my hand.

I think we're done. Let's catch the tractor cart back.

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