I happened upon these early budding inkberries last week at my daughter’s horse farm, and the memories of early autumn in my backyard appeared as if they were made yesterday.
My mother would give me that standard lecture every morning or afternoon that I would leave the house to play. Me–the Tom Sawyer wanna-be in the neighborhood, nearly courageous enough to take any risks necessary to have some fun, would listen to her with a happy grin, as if I were taking it all in.
“Don’t leave the neighborhood, don’t get in anybody’s car, and for goodness sake, stay away from those inkberry bushes across the street. I’ll never get your clothes clean again if you keep popping those berries. They’re poisonous, you know!”
Invariably, I’d leave the neighborhood, usually by car, and eventually come home with inkberry stains all over me. Mom would yell, but we had fun, and she knew it.
To me, these inkberries recall calmer days filled with reckless wonder and abandon. I think I’ll head out for a little walk and find me a few to pinch between my fingers before sunset… 🙂