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Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Extravagance of Mulberries

I remember eating my fill of the dark berries that grew so profusely on a large mulberry tree on the farm where I grew up in Augusta County. It offered wild fruit that went mostly to waste, covering the ground with whatever the birds or some human passerby didn’t help themselves to.

Like wild cherries, they weren't seen as the kind of fruit worth canning or freezing, but provided an OK snack for an always hungry kid on a hot summer day.

My oldest son, a singer-songwriter who lives in Pittsburgh, wrote a poem for me a couple of years ago ago called “Mulberries”, one he put on a card he made me for Father’s Day, as follows:

The extravagance of mulberries 
is to dump love to earth as soft fruit,
an outrageous bounty, mongrel offerings
rolled out as a moist purple carpet.

This uninvited sweetness is not sold in supermarkets, 
grows without cultivation,
is offered without calculation 
in dark roadside circles.

The sweetest fruit eludes your grasp, 
slips quickly to the ground, fallen,
like God’s rain, 
for everyone, and for no one in particular.

Needless to say, these kinds of gifts are among the ones I treasure most.

You can check out Brad's website at www.bradyoder.com. And here's a link to a song he later wrote on the same theme: http://www.bradyoder.com/songs/the-mulberry-tree  and this is one to the YouTube version: http://youtu.be/Mm2JUwZ3l6E
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