Blackberry Bushes

This head cold is really slowing me down…I’m so grateful that it hasn’t gotten worse, though! So, that’s why I haven’t posted yet this year (nor have I gotten out to take any new pics lately…total bummer!) But I was flipping through some of my shots from early Fall and I remembered going to visit my neighbor, Marjane. She has the greenest thumb I’ve ever seen and can make anything grow up here (unlike me – I was so proud of my seven or so carrots that I raised to be a whopping four inches long!! Not to mention all of the yellow squash and zucchini that I killed!)
One of my favorite features of her gardens was the blackberry bush behind her house. It reminded me of growing up in Arizona and the massive blackberry bushes we had on the hill behind our house. A friend who lived down the street from me even carved maze-like forts into the bushes in her yard – what fun! Thinking of those bushes, one of the first images I bring to mind is spending hours picking, cleaning, and freezing them, and I – rather unfortunately – recall the time that my dad watched a rather long snake slither along the branches right in front of where he was perched to pick berries! Ah, good times!

I also, however, cannot forget the thorns. Blackberry bush thorns are vicious and unforgiving – don’t ever underestimate them! These helped to teach me that thorns are a fact of life. We all come across them at one time or another, no matter how hard we try to avoid them. It is how we deal with those thorns that determines our character. Are we going to give up the moment the first one snags us and whine and cry until someone comes to our rescue, never reaching the top of the hill? Are we going to battle with all we have, entangling us deeper into the berry bush until we can move no further? Or are we going to find a path and press on, putting on the only protection that counts – the Armor of God? I cannot say that I’ve always made the right choice – in fact, if I’m honest, I rarely have – but I choose this year to make a sincere effort to put on His armor and face those blackberry bushes in my life. Come on 2012 – I’m ready for you!


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