Little Strawberries

Granddad had a strawberry patch in his backyard when I was a kid. He grew Stilwell strawberries, the kind they grow in Stilwell, Ok., The Strawberry Capitol of the World. Mom had a berry patch, but those were never as good as Granddad’s berries. Granddad had a secret to growing the best strawberries, a secret that he didn’t pass on to us. I think it was the manure.

When I was about 7, I remember picking berries just for fun, and thinking, “The sweetest berries are the smallest ones.” I loved to search for the hidden ones, lifting each leaf, and squatting down to see it. The big ones that lay on top of the leaves didn’t seem to me to be as sweet.

Then when I found that one little perfectly ripe strawberry it was gone in an instant, in one bite.

The strawberries we buy at the store are nice, but a little bland. They are big and showy, plump, good color. You expect the sweet strawberry taste, but it tastes just barely enough like a strawberry to make it edible. Life is like that sometimes. The sweetest things are the hidden things that you have to search for, the small things that try to stay hidden from sight.

Holding a sleeping child in your arms.

Singing at the top of your voice on Easter morn, “Up from the grave He arose!”

Turning the first page of a new book.

Making the last stitch on a knitted scarf.

Popping the first ripe cherry tomato into your mouth, unwashed, straight from the garden, on a warm summer morning.

Snapping the asparagus stems off in the garden, then eating one raw before you make it to the kitchen.

Spreading the comforter over the bed so it looks presentable.

In Ecclesiastes 3:11 the Bible says, “He has made everything beautiful in its time.”

It’s the little things that make my life so rich.