Saturday, August 31, 2013

A Three Berry Pie Day

These were the very first berries I picked in the season. Since then, my garden has offered me gooseberries, raspberries and red currents.  The 3-berry pie I made used raspberries from my garden, wild blueberries and wild saskatoons.

As the summer comes to a close, I can't help but feel how summer has been a turbulent blend of joyful family visits, lots and lots of rain, a new garden I started in my mother's back yard, writing in the early mornings, the loss of a dear friend, visits with my sisters, a back yard bursting with peppermint, bergamot (to make my own Earl Grey Tea blend), and oregano. All of this adding up to a very intense summer. And before the tail end of the season sweeps away, I've gone out picking blueberries, saskatoons and raspberries to make a Three-Berry pie. I invite extended family over and we eat the pie in the early evening. I've thought about so many things this summer. There were three deaths in my circle of family and friends and much loss to deal with. The summer has left me with more questions than answers.  Answers are so definitive but questions open up a myriad of possibilities.

 When my youngest child was home-schooled, I couldn't believe his endless list of questions he barraged me with on a daily basis. At first, I tried to guide him to pay attention to the task at hand. But later I realized that the questions were the task at hand. And so I began to shape his education around his questions. For the most part, I did not know that answers to his questions. We had to explore or discuss or search for a book or find someone who was experienced in that field. This is years before Google or Wikipedia. Searching for answers was always an adventure.

I'm wondering why we often relegate the world of questioning to children. Children are naturally curious but so are we, if only we would step aside from thinking we always need to provide answers. Why do we think that if we don't know something, it makes us weak or vulnerable? Children don't worry about these things. They take a chance. They ask questions.  I, for one, am going to begin to embrace questions this end of summer. When I picked the three types of berries this week, I asked myself, “What can I make to share that would keep the distinctive flavour of all three berries?”

And now, here on this end-of-August-night, I'm going to invent new questions to take into my month. Questions like “How is a September moon different from an August moon?”
“How will I balance my need to make a living with my soul's necessity of creating art?”
“How can I keep the friend I 'lost' inside me and around me?”
“What worries deplete my energy and what inspirations fill me up?”
“What is the small difficult-to-notice pleasure in my day?”
“What places in my home (chairs, windows, rooms) offer comfort? Stories old and new? An invitation?”
These will be my questions that lead me to curiousity and exploration... whether or not they lead to answer is of no consequence.

By the way, the recipe for my pie included:
1 cup of each type of berry
3/4 cup organic cane sugar
1 T. lemon juice
1 tsp. corn starch
 Butter pie crust
Crumbled gluten-free coconut cookies sprinkled on top with a bit of butter and flour.
Makes one pie.  Double up the recipe to make two pies.