The scent of honeysuckle on the vine in late Spring time tempts, but without the sweet memories of warm evenings, cool grass and little girl eagerness, would I even reach for that vine today – without the sweetness of that memory?
My grandmother’s spider’s knots that grew against the stone wall by the front porch? Would they even be planted in every yard I’ve ever had – without the memory of my grandmother’s admiration of them?
Each of my boys has a treasure box filled with rocks, coins, crosses, Dart Vader Pez dispensers and boy-heart things – Would they have a treasure box if I had not my own, given to me by my grandfather, long ago?
We store up sweet memories, like we store up fruits and vegetables from the summer for the winter. Amazingly, like gifts to put in my treasure box, new memories are put up in my heart and pulled out, to nurture, strengthen, or just enjoy, like homemade blackberry jam on hot biscuits in the middle of a snow storm.
And, we pass those sweet memories down to our children in tangible and intangible ways, the same way my mom would serve chocolate sodas on a summer evening. A wonderful experience is not fully manifested until shared by another – who shares that same wonderfulness with another.
Those road-sign moments of faith with my sons, I hope, will be like those honeysuckle moments that live deep within as a sweet thing handed down, like my grandmother’s spider knots that are transplanted in every home, or like mom’s chocolate sodas left me always wanting more – oh, I so hope those moments leave them always wanting more of God, are kept treasured within their hearts and handed down to their children, like blackberry preserves from Summer Time.
The following poem was printed in 2009 seemed like such a good fit, I thought I would pull it off the shelf. Sorry, I have no biscuits to serve with it.
Blackberry Hand-me Downs
By Maryleigh at Blue Cotton Memory
“Hand me down some summertime, Darlin’,”
asks breakfast table relations,
“Some of that blackberry summer time.”
“Blackberry jams all gone,” comes the answer
“All Gone till summer time.
When berry time comes, I’ll preserve
some summer time.”
drops of lemon and sugar pounds,
picked in the chilled sweat
of morning’s summer sun
a cotton apron.
sweetly to syrup it cooks
to the rumbling Galaxy fan
against salty sweat that balls
down flushed cheeks.
damp hands swat flies
and the noon siren hollers from town
as shoes stick to the jelled linoleum.
hot clean Mason jars and
settle in a water bath.
jars glisten on cheesecloth rows
lined like plowed fields
in pink watermelon prints
and in the falling of the day
when shades are pulled
dry coolness draws heat
from sweaty skin twitching
to a tin beat
sealed and saved
until little and b ig
voices around the breakfast table say,
“Hand me down some of that Summer Time.”