DSCN0716.1   The raspberries are out in full force at this time of the year. After a long three days in Hill City, navigating Sturgis Rally traffic and listening to the roaring engines and blaring music, the silence of the woods was a welcome relief. It always is a pleasure, but this time it was a relief.

DSCN0719.1We picked and ate for an hour and a half or two hours, and barely made it through any of the berry brambles! We walked in probably a quarter of a mile, along a rocky, rutted logging trail, and on either side – down the slope on one side, and up the slope on the other – the brambles were plentiful and thick. We could have picked for hours longer and still not canvassed the whole berry patch! I’d never seen anything like it.

DSCN0727.1We enjoyed the antics of a little red squirrel, the occasional glimpses of moles in the tall grass, and the gentle song of the wind in the pine trees. The berries were smaller than garden-grown ones, but so much sweeter. Even the not-yet-ripe ones were sweet, and I never once tasted a bug inside. So either the bugs out here taste better than the ones back in Illinois, or there were truly fewer insects!

DSCN0730.1In a week or two, the rosehips will be ripe–I’d love to get back out there to pick rosehips, so we’ll see if that makes it into the schedule.

Taking time to enjoy life, to spend time with friends and family and to revel in God’s beautiful creation…These make for a fruitful, bountiful life. The more I spend time in fellowship with my brothers and sister in Christ, and the more time I spend in fresh, clean air without the noise of traffic in the background, or the smell of asphalt and fastfood, the more time I spend without worrying about the clock, without the hurry and race of town life, the more I love these beautiful blessings from God.

Laura Elizabeth

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