Strawberries. Mom loved them so, and we would go to a patch and pick them fresh from nice old people whose lives were the land.
The drive to the small town with lots of fields and all kinds of people was enthralling. We listened to the radio and I looked out the window, past the fields--could I see for miles, yeah. It might be a little chilly when we first got there--just the remainder of spring transitioning to summer through the night, in dew.
Now I sit here, perched on concrete, facing the hill where no bikes are allowed. Jack is playing in my ears for the first time in a long time, and my legs are grateful to be bare. Concrete is cold through my coral shorts, but this is a time where it all feels like fresh water instead of sandpaper and sledgehammers.
Sometimes we loved going to pick strawberries. Sometimes it caught us completely off guard--they went into season in early June, and fresh dumped out of school we didn't always know what we wanted. Maybe we wanted to just sit in our pajamas and watch cartoons all day instead of havin an experience. But we didn’t really want that—you get that part, right?
There was an unwritten rule about how many you could eat on the spot; we all remembered the time toddler curly-headed Cameron had the runs for days after raspberry picking.
Now I sit here and squint up at sun. You know, all these things leave their residue in our lives in some way. A tangible way, I believe. Because when you see your mom with strawberries now, you think of the patch and those nice old people with leathery skin, how many of their strawberries you popped in your mouth to reward yourself for being out in the dirt and crouched down close, soiling your shorts and breaking a sweat.
Concrete chills my lower half. I pause the nostalgic tunes. It's time to put the pen down and go up the hill--I have someone to run into.