A rainy June leads to your having many moments of being down with knees to the damp ground, leaning forward among wet leaves and reaching for ripening berries. Mornings -- the strawberries beneath the row of grapes where the plants grow rampant. Evenings -- same areas again, and then in the fenced-in, protected strawberry beds. So you are getting wet first thing and then again last thing, the way these days have been going.
Yesterday, I opted to leave the house a little early, to walk up the hill and do some Maple Valley work. I left all the picking for the later gray hours of the day. At work we watched the clouds and the rains through large windows. When late afternoon arrived and the three of us -- Martha, Lorna and me -- were home from the job, as we were settling down to enjoy a revivifying nip of whisky, the sun started peering and then staring out from between clouds.
"Picking strawberries in the sun ... why, that is not how it is done," I joked. The irony of the evening, when the sky-change might have made the picking of berries more an idle pleasure and less a sodden task, is that I never got around to picking. We were looking into ideas and possibilities for this and that -- mostly writing-related travel later in the year -- so that suddenly I noticed we had reached the point in the evening when, even with a clear sky above, things were too dim for seeking reddening glimpses among the greenery.