If there’s anything that makes you feel the seasons around here, it’s harvesting berries. Let me explain the progression to you. Tell me if it rings true.
When raspberries, for example, first come into season you fall head over heels in love. You pick the lovely things, working your way deeper and deeper into the labyrinth of thorny canes and stinging nettles, swelling with secret pride as you develop small fascinating stings on your fingers and forearms and red stains on the hem of your shirt. You taste every 4th or 5th berry to see whether this branch holds tartness, sweetness, or floral nectar. In your heyday you rake in 6 pounds in 45 minutes.
Then you bring your friends. Extolling the wonders of the bushes you lead them headlong into the prickers, warning them of the perils, perhaps too late. You urge them to taste.
You prepare and plan the pie-making. The ratio of sugar to tart rhubarb and raspberry. You count on your fingers, following the five-finger rule. Fruit, sugar, thickener, lemon juice, salt.
Everyone gorges himself.
Finally, with pounds of raspberries frozen in perfect form, yet to be pulverized by frantic freezer foraging, you can feel secure. You can think about what’s next.