By 8 AM this morning, my Spanish daughter and I were up, dressed, chores done and ready to go.  We drove down the hill, met a friend at the post office, and then proceeded–in separate cars (“just to be sure”). 

The strawberry field awaited us!

My friend and I have made this pretty much an annual tradition for many years now.  Often we’ve included additional friends.  We weren’t even sure that we could do you-pick this year this year, and so we called ahead.  

“Yes,” the woman on the phone assured me, “you can pick.”  Then she listed out the new rules for this year.  They asked that people “not come in large groups.”  (I discarded the idea of inviting a group to join in the fun.) 

You have to wear a mask (even outside, far away from others).  You have to socially distance while paying (which now seems standard everywhere anyway).

They also asked that no one eat while picking.  This was definitely hardest rule to follow!

Still, the strawberries beckoned.  Corona virus, quarantines, partial closures, lockdowns, social distancing… none of that changes the readiest of fruit harvest. 

It also doesn’t change the important part of this morning for our little group.  What we most enjoy is our time together.  We have fun seeking the precious red fruit under its leaves, sure.  When we pull out the frozen bags in the middle of winter, throwing them into a blender for a smoothie perhaps, we will fondly remember this hour we shared on pleasant summer’s morn.

The silver lining in all of these acts is the feeling that accompanies it.  I take nothing for granted anymore…and everything takes on a new significance and joy when seen through this new lens.  It’s not a bad silver lining at all.