The voices of friends floated down to me from the far end of the row. After I'd finished picking my quart, I made my way toward the aisle to meet them. "I didn't think I'd see you again before you left town," Jonquil said. I hadn't known we would cross paths again, either.
"I wanted to get in a little Farm time," I said. "Pick strawberries while I still can!"
"I'm pretty sure they have strawberries in Jerusalem," she assured me.
"But not like this," I said, gesturing to the fields and the hills around us. There's nothing else quite like this.
My friend Ali recently published A love post of sorts (this time, for my CSA). It made me smile with recognition. I've posted a few love letters to Caretaker in this blog: Shabbat at the Farm, Basil harvest, Hardy green, my recent Torah poem Caretaker.
Tonight we'll dine on a Caretaker salad: beautiful lettuce leaves, arugula so explosively flavorful it makes my mouth sing, tiny sweet white turnips and bright spicy radishes. And then maybe we'll end the day with a bowl of fresh strawberries, vibrant and sweet. The flavors of home, sustaining me as I prepare to venture forth.
I've been comparing the seven weeks of my trip to the counting of the Omer, that season of spiritual growth culminating in first fruits both intellectual and physical. Visiting the Farm yesterday reminded me that I'll be home just in time for some physical harvesting, to match the spiritual and emotional harvest I hope I'll be bringing in. May I glean sweetness, there and here, now and always.