For those of you that don’t know, Lan and I are super fortunate to live on the Central Coast of California. The weather here is generally mild and sunny for most of the year; this is in large part WHY so much amazing produce is grown here. In my little neck of the woods, there are several U-pick farms that offer people a chance to go and pick their own fruits right off the trees/vines to bring home and enjoy. During the summer months, that means we get access to incredible organic berries like the ones you see here.
We’re well into October now, which means strawberry season is all but wrapped up, and blackberry & raspberry season ended several weeks ago. So, why aren’t I sharing photos of pumpkins or something? Because the picture above is what’s happening in my garden. For whatever reason (maybe it’s how we water, maybe the sun hits the yard a certain way), all the fruits in my yard have decided to show up late and my plants are continuing to produce. The blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries in that bowl above were picked yesterday…so much later than the pros’ products. And I’m more than just OK with that; it reminds me that in my garden, with my limited skills, my plants will thrive in their own time…if at all. They’re mine and they bring me so much more satisfaction than any box of berries I could buy at the farm-stand or the grocery store.
Why am I bothering to share this with you? Certainly not to brag about my gardening skills! Case in point: my current social media feed is all apple picking and homegrown pumpkins while my own garden boasts shriveled up squash vines that somehow got nuked by the sun…I can’t seem to grow pumpkins to save my life! *sigh*
So, why, then? Because when I think about this humble little bowl of berries, I’m reminded yet again how important it is to maintain perspective. I could despair looking at my garden and seeing all the plants that aren’t thriving. I could scroll through Instagram and be jealous that my neighbors have so much better luck growing their pumpkins. OR, I could think “wow, how lucky am I that my berry vines are still going strong?!” as I pop said berries into my mouth. I’m gonna choose that last option, in case you’re wondering.
You see, so much of our happiness is a matter of choice. Every day, we have opportunities to compare our lives and our circumstances with what we see around us and what we have envisioned. It’s extremely easy to get discouraged when that comparison leaves us feeling like we’ve come up short. I’ve felt that discouragement before and I’ll likely feel it again in the future. But today I choose to focus on what’s going well in my garden – and I’m not discouraged or sad at all. This little bowl of sweet sun-ripened berries makes me happy. And that’s enough for this brown-thumbed girl.
Hoping you find your happy too,