Second Chance

In the middle of summer, my strawberry bed is producing well. It’s a fight between the birds and me to see who will get the ripe red berries first. I have tried to leave the berries on their mother plants, to let the green recede to full redness. The birds are not as patient as I, and will peck at the red bits if they see it.

Berries that are hidden under a leaf can stay intact, but the brighter they are the more likely they will be seen.


I’ve learned to pick them faster, or I won’t have any. I’m not always prepared to eat them right away. I would leave a little pile of pink-red-greenish berries on table or the counter.

Simon cat found them, and would bat the round things off to the floor. Bad kitty!

New plan: put the delicious berries in a dish.

And there the berries are safe, waiting for me to wash and eat them.

I know strawberries are best when fresh, and I have a treasure from my garden.

I was getting ready to eat them, really, when I see the berries have dissolved into rottenness.

I have failed. I am too late and I have lost my chance.

My berries will not fulfill their strawberry destiny. All the work I put into building the strawberry bed, installing the watering system, and planting them –it has all come to nothing.

Why did I let this moment pass? Why did a squander all the work that made these berries?

I’d been looking forward to these berries for months! Why did I falter right at the moment they were at long last ready?

What’s wrong with me?

And then I remember.

I will get another chance. Very soon.

The new green berries will ripen. The whole system of the world is fashioned around second chances.

Each strawberry is a poem of abundance–how many seeds does one berry really need? There are more than enough.

True, strawberry season will end when the cold hits. But it will begin again.

I’ll do the work to keep my harvest, but I can be a little easier on myself. There is margin for error.