This evening I’ve had to put the lamps on before I could write this post.  Now we’ve reached September, the nights are noticeably drawing in.  I love the change of seasons, particularly as summer rolls into autumn.  I was a little over-enthusiastic about seasonal transition this morning: I decided to wear a jaunty pink beret when I went for a walk, only to discover that it really wasn’t as cold as I’d imagined & my head got very sweaty indeed.  Not pleasant.  The (literal) fruits of my walk were, however, extremely pleasant.  As the picture shows, I came back with a large bowl’s worth of blackberries & some apples.  The photograph in no way captures the full glory of this bounty.  Over the past year or so, I’ve tried to improve my photography skills, but no matter what I did I simply couldn’t get an image that showed the plump, jewel-like quality of the berries, glistening like clusters of dark sapphires. 

Despite my failure to achieve the photograph that I desired, the simple activities involved in getting the picture shown provided a valuable lesson.  As I said in my last post, I have been struck by malaise over the last week or so – the problem being that I feel all hemmed in, lacking the level of freedom that I crave.  There are various reasons why that is the case: the need to push & finish my PhD being one, the lack of gainful employment (& hence any income) is another.  I know that this double whammy of little time & even less money is a temporary measure, & also one that I have chosen by continuing my studies.  But this knowledge didn’t prevent me from feeling a bit fed up.  That feeling of itchy feet, the desire for freedom has not subsided, but the walk made me realise that I still have a lot of freedom – I may not have the spare cash to take myself off somewhere else for a few days, but I can still get up & go for a walk first thing on a Wednesday morning.   

Coming home from the walk with my piles of edible treasure also caused me to reflect.  I’m a firm believer in the power of simple pleasures, yet sometimes we all need a reminder of such joys.  Today the simple pleasure of hedgerow blackberries & scrumped apples was right before my eyes.  Not only that, they set in motion a chain of simple pleasures: the time spent messing about photographing them; writing this post.  In the next couple of days, I’ll make a crumble out of them.  I’ve already had a lovely ten minutes debating whether to use my usual crumble recipe (courtesy of my mum) or whether to try out the one in my Miss Dahl cookbook.  Making and eating the crumble will be pleasurable too.  There is also a more tangential chain of pleasures arising from my miniature harvest: thinking about what to do with the fruits randomly gave me inspiration for a birthday gift to make for a friend in November – the making and giving of this gift will bring pleasure.  And so it goes on…Who knows what other pleasures & life lessons will arise from my apples & blackberries.  You could say that it’s been a fruitful day.

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