Meanwhile one of my favorite summer activities is to go berry-picking with Ethan, my six-year old grandson. We went two weeks ago. There had been torrential rains just two days before and the soil was very warm and spongy. I joked that if it were any softer, we'd probably sink all the way through and emerge in China and then, what would we do? (I doubt China is the actual antipodes of Washington State but I wasn't going to tell him that we would most likely pop out somewhere in the middle of an ocean, surrounded by sharks and other sea creatures).
Contrary to the raspberries, most of the strawberries were on the small side -at least compared to the ones to be found in supermarkets- but the whole patch smelled like no fruit aisle I know has ever smelled. A fragrance you wish you could encapsule and breathe in the dark of winter to conjure up summer.
Ethan listened, spellbound, a grin on his face. Except for a few family reunions when they were babies or toddlers, he only ever got to spend one full week with Noah. But they were both five and they bonded hard. Talking about Noah usually makes him sad but not this time: I could see in his eyes that he had nothing but admiration for his cousin's rascally ways and that he would have loved to run around the girls with him tipping over blueberry baskets.