There are rumours about. Whisperings.
The squirrel, high above me, sharply visible in this clear slanting light, has heard them too. He is cheerily stuffing his furry belly, with tiny fistfuls of crimson berries.
And dropping the pips down on to my head. I think he's having a squirrelly chuckle to himself, at my expense.
Trees are trying out new colour, leaf by leaf. The maple in the garden is the first to go, year after each full year. It reminds me that, regardless, the world keeps to its schedule. A timetable of ebbs and flow.
And here stand I. Solitary, singular, a quiet watcher. Each trainer-clad morning a snap shot. Polaroid like, the day, the season's features seep into sight. The slight, goosebump raising, dewy chill. The lengthening of morning rays. I hear the rumours too.
Fingers stained purple, I sit with a hot cup of coffee. I smile at the mental picture of Mr B, brows knitted, determined and perhaps a touch crazed, grinding coffee beans with my soup blender. Happy am I in this moment.
I ponder why no one picks the blackberries that hang high in the ginnel behind the house. Blackberries as you have never seen, not in real life. Not outside of a clinical, cellophane wrapped supermarket packet of suspiciously gargantuan mega berries. But berries that bring to mind classic scenes from tales of wandering adventures and relished picnics, small cotton tailed characters, vegetable gardens and miniature lost shoes. By mid August they have soaked up the best of the summers south facing rays. At this point they are huge! And sweet! Sweet with a kick of spice, that has no words for its uniqueness. Before these berries, the ubiquitous ton of sugar would have been dumped atop and indeed jam making would have been the culinary path most followed with 'wild' blackberries... Shop bought for virgin eating! But these, these I gather and store away in the freezer, precious box after box. Stockpiling their fat juicy joy away for winter porridge, custardy crumbles and to bejewel perfect, vanilla crema filled tartlets.
As I amble below these brambles now the berries are noticeably smaller, still sweet but less beautifully pristine. These will be my pots of jam!
And so, why? Why are they not picked by the gardener who's soil the source is grounded in? Why are they left to go mouldy by the tendril full? Free, seasonal food. The best of food. I'm sure the birds tell tales of them, as I do.
And So perhaps the rumours are true. Maybe. But as you know, I would never uphold gossip....x