Picking Blueberries

Live in the moment they tell me. But what if the moment I'm living in sucks? It's seven-thirty at night, I'm hungry, dinner is my job tonight, Cheryl is working, and I'm just now getting to the supermarket. I just need a couple of sweet potatoes to go with the steaks and spinach I bought yesterday, easy in, easy out. My mind is spinning a million miles an hour; get home, put the taters in the oven, feed the cats, switch the laundry, make a few phone calls, return a few, clean the grill, check the mail…what the hell, I'm not even home yet and I think my head is going to explode.

First thing I see when I walk in the market is strawberries and blueberries, on sale. My mind slows down enough to squeeze in the thought of some fresh fruit on top of a mountain of vanilla ice cream, maybe a little granola to top it off. I grab the packages of strawberries, two of course, because they are two for five dollars, and put a container of blueberries on top.

I'm going to need some ice cream and granola to go with the fruit and potatoes, better get a basket. I manipulate the stuff in my hands so I can lift one of them from the stack and start filling it up. The basket sticks, my cat-like reflexes are slowed by the overload in my brain and the blueberries tumble onto the floor, rolling all over the place.

A quick look left, then right confirms what I thought, it's an unwitnessed spill. My instinct tells me move on, leave the mess for somebody else to clean up- too busy, too much to do, time is ticking…

My conscious slows things down, and before I know it, I'm on my hands and knees picking blueberries from the supermarket floor. I barely notice people passing, they are none of my concern as they dodge the little blue blobs and move on, lost in their own overwhelming thoughts.

Two little hands appear in my peripheral vision, and they are picking blueberries with me. I glance over, it's a stranger, a girl, maybe twelve or thirteen focused on the task at hand.

"Do you want them back in the container?" she asks.

"That's really nice of you, thank you," I reply, and reach toward her with the half full blueberry container. Another girl joins her friend, and I'm completely lost in the moment, picking blueberries with two gracious kids, their hands busy picking up the mess I created, filling my pint container, making sure every one was accounted for.

When we're done, they get up, give me a smile and walk out the door.

A few hours later I sat contentedly eating the best fresh picked blueberries I'd ever had, each one better than the one before it. I ate them slowly, savoring each and every instant.

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Michael Morse

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Comments
Garry Collins
Survival
Order of priority; Self Fellow firefighter(s) Other disciplines (Cops etc.) Joe public Our gear Public property. That’s how the list is going in. Sometimes, in the heat of the moment, and depending on circumstances it may change, but not that often.
2014-08-31 19:03:08
Posts Outside the Service Area: Some of my favorites from August 2014 | Everyday EMS Tips
The ten other commandments
[…] Finally, Michael Morse reminds us that success is relatively simple if you follow the Other 10 Commandments. […]
2014-08-31 12:01:48
Phil HERSHMAN
Sadness
heavy....... thanks for posting
2014-08-30 19:02:09
Nathan Stanaway
Adrenaline Junky
I think there is room for all of us in the future of EMS. Just like not all nurses like the ER, not all paramedics only want to run the sickest patients. Personally, my favorite calls are MCIs, a close second is probably the little old lady low fall. We can specialize. If you don't…
2014-08-25 02:48:52
Michael Morse
Adrenaline Junky
Thank you Renee! I was starting to think I was the only one. Stay safe out there.
2014-08-21 17:02:24

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