Blackberry Vines

Knocking down blackberry vines yesterday with a weed whacker. They are hardly noticeable until this time of year when almost overnight they shoot out long canes. I can’t let them go or they will take over. I put on boots and cover my skin and face, thread some new plastic line into the whacker, start up the gasoline engine, and march in the fashion of a mad warrior through this dense and thorny jungle, which persists down along the road. Too bad I have to knock them down, as I love eating wild berries in the summer time. Not too far down the road another patch is growing that I can pick from.

Every year for nearly forty years I’ve been working on these same vines. I once had them well under control, but then got lazy and allowed them to spread and thicken. Each spring I feel as if I am renewing an old fight, an aging soldier walking a forgotten battleground. Others probably see just a guy out keeping his piece of the world neat and tidy. Summers and berry picking just evoke much memory for me.

If each day of my life was a page in a book, I’d be up somewhere around page 24,000 today. When I go attack the same vines that I did when I first bought this place, I suddenly feel as if I am back on page 9500, with, of course, some berry juice dripped across a few of the pages.

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