I could pull weeds for days. I’m not kidding. Every time I walk out to the backyard, I take a little look-see at the garden. My first thought is always something positive. My zucchini plant is flowering! There’s another baby pepper sprouting off of my jalepeno plant! I used all of my basil for pesto the other day and look, there’s a bushel more!
But after those statements of fulfillment run through my mind, I have to admit feeling a twinge of guilt. Rose Pearson would have never allowed so many weeds into the garden. The rows of plants would have been much straighter when Rose was in charge of this plot. Rose would have known not to put the cucumbers in that spot. The tomatoes would be growing much faster under Rose’s supervision. Of course, all of these thoughts come down to one question I think many of us are asking ourselves regularly: Am I good enough?
It all ran through my head in the early morning when, after days of rain, I finally got out to survey the land. From my kitchen window, I spotted bright, red fruit. And my gathering instincts kicked in. Those berries are sweet and I’m going to get them.
Of course, as soon as I opened the gate to the garden, the forest of weeds caught my attention quickly too. I just know my neighbors looking at this land and thinking: “Hmmmm. Rose had this place in much better shape than Elizabeth does. That’s too bad.”
I set my empty white raspberry picking bowl aside and began to heave. And yank. And rip. Weed after weed. I’ll say it again. I could pull weeds for days.
But those berries distracted me again. I jerked a couple more nasty plants out of the ground (how do they grow so fast, by the way?) and got down to raspberry business. A much more rewarding harvest experience, because I ended up with this:
I wish I could tell you I made some glorious trifle with my first bowl of berries. Or boiled them down into a sweet jam to be savored in the middle of the next icy Minnesota winter. I’d surely have captured beautifully lit, perfectly positioned photos with you and shared the recipes!
I stared at the bowl and thought about it.
But alas, I rinsed the red berries off. And I just ate them. Standing in the kitchen. Plain as can be. A mixture of sweet and tart. The mushy ones staining my fingers. Despite the invasive and persistent weeds and the fact that I have less horticulture expertise than Rose Pearson did in her little finger, these berry bushes are doing just fine. And deep down, a little voice reassured me, like it should all of us: “Yes, I am good enough.”