Anoint my spirit
and remind me
to let go.
of the power
that which I have.
May I inhale
The spirit of adventure
runs through my veins
with the rich color
of crushed raspberry
May it always run so free
may it be blessed
and may I be reminded
of the courage and love
shown in small, wild adventures.
Wild black raspberries are ripe at my Missouri homestead and this morning I went on an expedition with my three children to gather what we could. As I returned, red-faced, sweating, and after having yelled much more than I should and having said several things I instantly regretted, I was reminded of something that I manage to forget every year: one definition of insanity is picking wild berries with a toddler. In fact, the closest I ever came to spanking one of my kids was during one of these idyllic romps through the brambles when my second son was three. While still involving some suffering, today’s ramble was easier since I have a nine and a half year old now as well as the toddler. This time, my oldest son took my toddler daughter back inside and gave her a bath and put her in new clothes while I was still outside crawling under the deck in an effort to retrieve the shoes and the tiny ceramic bluebird I’ve had since I was ten that my girl tossed over the railing and into the thorns “for mama.”
While under the deck, I successfully fished out the shoes (could not find the tiny bird) and I found one more small handful of raspberries. Since the kids were all safely indoors, I took my sweaty and scratched up and irritable self and ran down to my small, sacred space in the woods. I was thinking about how I was hot, tired, sweaty, sore, scratched, bloody, worn, and stained from what “should” have been a simple, fun little outing with my children and the above prayer came to my lips. I felt inspired by the idea that parenting involves uncountable numbers of small, wild adventures. I was no longer “just” a mom trying to find raspberries with her kids, I was a raspberry warrior. I braved brambles, swallowed irritations, battled bugs, sweated, swore, argued, struggled, crawled into scary spaces and over rough terrain, lost possessions and let go of the need to find them, and served as a rescuer of others. I gave my blood and body over to the task.
When I returned and showered, my oldest begged for me to make homemade raspberry sorbet with our findings. I’ve never made sorbet before and wasn’t sure I should dare try, but then I gathered my resources and said yes to yet another small adventure…
1 c. sugar and 1 c. water boiled together
splash of lemon juice
24 ounces of wild raspberries (or from the store)
1 tsp of vodka (optional–keeps the sorbet from getting frozen too hard)
Blend all ingredients, strain if you want to remove some seeds, or just leave as is. Chill in fridge or freezer. Put in ice cream freezer and let mix as long as your own freezer instructions say (30+ minutes here), return to freezer. If you don’t have an ice cream freezer, you can pour the mixture onto a cookie sheet and freeze (when frozen, chop up and blend in blender or food processor until of tasty consistency.)
Yes, like Inanna, I faced thorny gates and descended into darkness, crawled on my knees, and gave up things that I cherished, and in the process discovering things about myself, and then returned with a renewed sense of purpose and an awareness of my own strengths…but, I got sorbet out of the deal!
This post is partially crossposted at Theapoetics as part of my woodspriestess series.