Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Spring (the season) (07/23/09)
By stephanie axley
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One year later, Iím driving that same long route to the strawberry patch with a little girl buckled safely in my back seat. No one else is with us; this moment is all ours to take in. You have started to crawl so the timing is perfect. I set you between the rows of strawberries and show you how to grab the plump berries and drop them into the box. We both crawl along the ground, picking and tasting the berries. Then I stop and watch you, my beautiful little gift from God. The strawberries lose their appeal once you find the mud and then I giggle as you begin to dip your hands in the cool wet dirt and rub them together. I finish filling up our bucket as you follow slowly behind trying to catch insects as they hop out of our way. When we reach the end of the row I gather you and the berries to head for the water hose. As I load you back into the car I smile at your strawberry stained shirt and your mud caked pants.
The next year we visit that same patch and this time your baby brother sits and watches as you pick strawberries with mommy. You are very serious this year about how many you can put in the bucket, but you also remember to keep your brothers tiny hands filled and we laugh at him as he stuffs the berries into his mouth making a very big mess. As the years pass the strawberries we pick together fill more boxes and we usually race to see who could fill their bucket first. It never mattered how fast the competition was getting, we each managed to taste the berries along the way and never left without berry juice down the front of our shirts. Now daddy never has the chance to make it to the strawberry patch with us, but he enjoys the fresh strawberry pies, muffins and shortcakes that mommy and the kids make together back at home.
This coming spring as I make my way to the strawberry patch I will again think of that first trip so many years ago. My life has changed greatly over the years, but is always full of good gifts and loving favor from God. All those dreams I used to dream have come true for my dear little one and yet God, I find time and again, creates life better than a dream. Not only did I have that moment to share with you my little girl, but we were also joined through the years by your little brother and two little sisters. Each year I look forward to our time together as we pick spring strawberries and the tradition that started with you and mommy continues through our family.
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