Saturday, December 8, 2012

Little Round Berries

berries (1)

I was walking down the BART path on my way to the dentist, cruising along at my usual brisk pace when something caught my eye.  I stopped dead in my tracks.  Little berries.  Little round berries.  Little round red berries.  Memories came flooding back.

When Alfred and I were little girls at the old house, we had a backyard full of amusement.  Sandboxes, swing sets and swimming pools migrated around the yard, with much help from Daddy, until Daddy found them their permanent homes. 

One place the swing set lived for awhile was the side of the back yard, just off the driveway, right under a small tree.  A small tree with little berries.  Little round berries. Little round orange berries.  They grew in bunches on that tree, the same way the little round red berries were growing in bunches on the tree along the BART path.

Like the birch tree we fed to the pandas, the berries were just another toy in our giant whole-world playground.  Mommy had told us not to eat the berries because they were poisonous.  Somehow, we got it in our heads that berries were not poisonous only if ingested, but utterly and completely poisonous.  The berries would fall from the tree onto our slide. We’d roll them down, an orange river flowing to the ground, always careful never to break a berry for fear the poisonous berry juice would seep through our skin.

As I stood looking at those little red berries, so exactly like my childhood berries in everyway but hue, I wondered momentarily if they too were poisonous.  I briefly wondered if the orange berries even were.  Certainly not to touch, but to eat?  I didn’t squish a red berry or try to eat one to find out.  I smiled, turned back down the path and walked away in a haze of happy memories

wendy and steph on swingset 1989

A berry-les berry tree. Alfred with a shovel on a swing.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Maybe Alfred was hoping for snow. :) I don't know if the berries were really poisonous either or I just told you that to make sure we didn't find out.