Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Strawberry Fields Forever

Photo: from me!

Hello Optimists,

Yesterday was a b-e-a-utiful day with blue skies, a warm sun, and thankfully, relatively low humidity. I wanted to spend every possible second I could outdoors because I know all too well that this weather won't last forever. The middle and end of June not only brings with it the celebration of Father's Day, but also the season for strawberry picking. Have you ever gone before?

I've done it quite a few times in the past, but I went yesterday on a kind of spur of the moment trip.  It was perfect because I got to spend some more time outside and I got to eat some delicious strawberries warmed by the sun. (If you've never eaten a warm and ripe strawberry right from the vine, you're missing's the best.) About 45 minutes and 16 pounds of strawberries later, we called it quits. Now the question is, what the heck are we going to do with 16 pounds of strawberries?!

I went back home and started sorting them, all the while thinking up some great desserts and jams to make with my new inventory...and I must say, I'm quite excited about it. It was really cool to see all the different sizes and shapes that we had picked, and as true of many other things, one size does not fit all with strawberries.  There were some teeny-tiny ones...
and there were some bigger ones...

Some were soooo perfect...
and some were not-so-perfect....

But the best part about it was they are all delicious! At the grocery store, I'm usually very picky about the fruit that I pick. With strawberries, I won't pick a package with berries that are too dark, too light, too small, or too big. I want to make sure I can pick the best! But when I was picking them from the vine yesterday, I found that I was not as particular about my selection as usual. I finally realized that in the end, a strawberry's a strawberry. As long as it's not over or under ripe, it's going to taste really good. So I picked away, not conscious of the size or shape...I was more accepting of a variety. And that's a good thing, so I'm glad I brought home so many different types. 

As I searched through my list of quotes to feature for today, I found one that really embraced this idea. 
After the game, the king and pawn go into the same box. -Italian Proverb
I love this! It doesn't matter whether a competitor looks bigger, better, or stronger, and it doesn't really matter who "wins" or who "loses" the end, it's all the same. I realized this for my strawberries, but now I'm realizing that it's true in life too. There's no reason to favor one thing over the other based purely on looks or size or anything, it's probably likely that one can get the job done just as well as the other. One size fits all is true of a lot of things in life, but usually we don't give it enough of a chance to realize that. So I know it will be hard to do, but try to make an effort to treat others and other things with more equality.

Keep Smiling,

P.S. Anyone have any recipes to share or suggestions as to what I can do with all of these strawberries?!

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