Day 169 Blueberry Religion

May 27, 2015

(This is part of a 365 project during my 70th years where I write and illustrate a blog on each day’s gift.)

I’ve been eating blueberries ever since I can remember. I’ve always savored the taste and have learned that the bigger ones are the sweetest. Sometimes, I peel the skin and let its succulence linger in my mouth before swallowing. And I have always been careful of the fruit’s juices because my mother used to warn me how blueberry stains will not come out of clothing. 

More than 40 years ago on a Dolly Sods backpacking trip that went awry, I remember spending the night in an inadequate tent during an early October storm. We were miserable, cold and hungry. On the way back to the van, we found some wild blueberry bushes and crawled on our hands and knees greedily picking and stuffing the berries into our mouths. Trinka, my rain-soaked German Shepherd, obviously loved these berries too as she wolfed them down. The wild blueberries stand out in my memory as a bright spot in an uncomfortable experience when life had broken down into its lowest common denominator of basic human needs. How wonderful these blueberries tasted!

I thought I knew blueberries until this morning when I was eating some for breakfast. Looking down on the top of one berry, it suddenly dawned on me that the stem area has an elegant geometry shaped like a six-pointed star, a hexagon or hexagram with two interlocking equilateral triangles (without the guiding lines)—a symbol that has been used in Judaism, Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, Jainism, Mormonism, Christianity. 

I never noticed this until today. How many times have I focused on only one sense and pushed the others in the background? Tomorrow I should capture the blueberry smell before eating and pay attention to how the skin and inside feel. Hmmm…what does a blueberry sound like? How is it that a hexagon like that on the top of a blueberry can appeal to such diverse groups? Maybe the blueberry should become a symbol of religious unity.

My gift today is a new view of  blueberries.

You can find links to my other posts on this project here:

365, 70th year, 8th decade, gifts

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