It’s strawberry picking time. I’ve waited a year for one of my favorite outings. I was looking forward to sharing a new experience with everyone, making strawberry jam. Imagine my dismay when I found out, hours before leaving, that my favorite pick-your-own strawberry farm was already picked over. My daughter’s friend was on her own strawberry hunting adventure and clued us in on the bad news. The good news is that she did end up finding another spot and shared the information with us. There is more bad news. When we started making our way through the strawberry field we soon discovered it was slim pickings too. I didn’t end up with the 8 to 10 quarts I wanted. We left with a heaping two quarts. Here’s one of them now.

They were sweet and worth the trip. It left me thinking though, about taking things for granted and also left me feeling a bit disorganized. I failed to call and check on the status of the strawberries. I planned to take my camera to the farm and left without it. On our drive home I spied a sign, read it, loved it and again kicked myself for not bringing my camera.

After seeing what I read and letting it sink in I started to reflect on the day. I forgave myself for my shortcomings. Sometimes life is not about planning and everything being perfect. Sometimes it’s about living in the moment and enjoying. I didn’t get the strawberries I wanted, but I did enjoy the outing with my husband. I even loved the search for the elusive perfect strawberry in the picked-over field.

A few older women in the field were discussing what they wanted to do with their strawberries and how they were altering their plans. Their plans went from jam, to strawberry shortcake, to how just having enough to put on their cereal in the morning was fine with them. They teased each other a little about picking some green strawberries. With age comes wisdom. They were making the best of things.

Families walked by with little children, some holding tiny baskets to fill, others grasping huge buckets almost too big for them to carry. Their excitement made me smile.

Raspberry bushes, heavy with fruit not yet quite ripe, held the promise of another attempt at making jam. I felt hopeful.

It really was a beautiful day regardless of plans not turning out quite right.

“Time flies and you are the pilot.” The sign whispered it to me as we drove by.

Remember. You decide where you’re going, and it’s going fast.

You also get to decide how you feel about it, so choose wisely.

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