Lessons from the Blackberry Bush

Here in Oregon, blackberries are an invasive species that we spend a lot time trying to irradicate  – that is, when we’re not busy making jam and pies from the fruit. 

The difference between pie and pest is the circumstance.  Find them along a hiking trail and they’re a treat.  In your backyard they are a pest.  Every skill you have, strength you possess and idea you have can be both good and bad –  it depends on the circumstance.  When you can open your thinking to recognize where good becomes bad or bad becomes good you empower yourself to maximize all you skills – good and not so good – all your strengths and weaknesses and all your ideas by seeing where to best apply them.

Sometimes you have to get out of your own way.  While uprooting the blackberries along my fence line, I got to one that I just pulled at with no success even though other canes came out the loose soil bed easily.  I shifted positions to get a better grip and the plant just popped out.  Turns out, I was standing on the roots.  When I got out of the way, the job became easier.  Have you ever gotten in your own way?

Gentle handling can make a prickly situation easier to manage.  Blackberry canes can pretty much reach out and snag you.  They are covered in curved prickers that can leave scratches and really garb on.  But the curve is consistently the same direction. If you use a little patience and cut the canes into pieces and lay them with the prickers all facing the same direction and you can push them into the recycle bin, with a bare hand easily and without injury.

Blackberries - Pie or Pest? Both depending on the circumstance.

While I was physically yanking out the blackberries, my mind was free to think. Which is the last lesson.  Need to think take a walk or do something physical that does not require careful attention – weeding and walking are two such activities.  There is something about the movements that equally stimulate the right and left hemispheres of the brain that lead to whole brain thinking – pictures in the right intuitive side are more easily recognized and translated into language and cognitive thought.  

That’s how this blog post was mentally written while I busy getting some yard work done.

That said – I’m ready for a piece of pie!

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