Today I made raspberry cobbler in a jar. They were the raspberries I picked at Eagle Lake this summer. I wanted to remember.
I picked those raspberries, picked through the rain and the scratches on my calves and the mud. Washed the bugs and the dirt off the berries and learned how to flash freeze them so they wouldn’t stick together all tumbled up in a container later. I learned where the best picking was; behind staff housing, up by Raven’s Craig, down on The Darn, along the road towards the dining hall.
We stopped our strollers along that road, picking two or three berries before we turned around and offered them to the babes. I held them up for Erik strapped on my back, handed them to Addison in her stroller, Abby and Alice running back and forth looking for their own berries. We left staff housing early for lunch, allowing ourselves to get distracted with the picking, offering, savoring. We talked and planned about how we should make jam together. We could get little labels printed with Eagle Lake 2018 and each of us keep a jar.
In eleven minutes the steaming scent of fresh raspberry cobbler will probably tempt my husband away from his audiobook to ask what I made, what smells so good. Remember those wild raspberries, I will say, how bittersweet they were? Taste this.
That’s how I want to remember our summer. I want to take the bittersweet and bring out the wild flavor. I want to transform the memories into happy recollections; there’s no way to erase how hard the summer was but that’s not what I want to do. I just want to frame the memories in the best way; serve them up gently with our thoughts heavy on all the goodness. We need good memories like we need good food.