Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Blackberry Winter

In the mountains of Southeastern Kentucky when the blackberry bushes are heavy with white blooms the wise older people noticed a “cold snap” would always come and thus it came to be known as blackberry winter because it was cold and usually quite dreary, just not cold enough for snow (usually). Here I am in the suburbs of Lexington, Kentucky, one of the fastest growing cities of the state and blackberry winter is in full swing. It has reminded me just how much things can remain the same even if we are not where we originally started from.

As my husband and I drove home this weekend from his parents’ home you could see blackberry bushes heavy with white blooms and mixed in among them along the side of the road was a bush called Seven Sisters that looks remarkably like blackberry blooms but get their name because they have seven blooms instead of just one, like the blackberry. I had forgotten about the Seven Sisters bushes until I was speaking with one of my sisters afterwards.

Like me, she has left the mountains. She has moved to Florida and rarely makes it back home, much like me. We don’t get to see each other often, but we do get to call each other and visit via phone and cell phone, and there is rarely a time that passes when we are not asking each other some question concerning mountain wisdom about planting or one of the many “winters” that dot the landscape before summer arrives properly.

There were four of us girls and one boy that grew up in that house on Stinnett. All of us have moved away except one. One of us girls has moved just up the road into her own home and has made a good life for herself there. It hasn’t been easy for any of us in our chosen lives, but when those of us need a boost to keep on going we always end up on going back home, on revisiting where we came from – knowing where you came from sets where you are going into a better perspective. You can’t see this when you’re young and 23 and know everything there is to know about life and living any way. (Once you’re past 23, you can finally understand what wisdom your parents and grandparents had and were trying to share with you.)

Sometimes you just need to know, and accept, that, after blackberry winter, summer comes into full bloom.

1 comment:

Georgia Green Stamper said...

Henrietta, I stumbled on your blog while Googling Blackberry Winter. Though I am a 7th Generation Kentuckian I couldn't (blush) remember exactly when Blackberry Winter occurs. This is a delightful blog entry. Thank you. I may link to it if you do not mind on my own blog on the Owenton News-Herald website. I especially like your concluding lines : Sometimes you just need to know, and accept, that, after blackberry winter, summer comes into full bloom.