Earlier this summer, I requested that we spend my birthday gathering blueberries from my favorite berry farm in Northern Indiana. They sell the most delicious, robust blueberries I have ever tasted – and all organic to boot. As we traveled North toward the farm, we discussed how gifts can be experiences instead of always being a “thing” – a concept our daughters were only mildly interested in.
As we walked toward the berry bushes in a light drizzling rain, we hovered over the idea that blueberries are a gift themselves – from the sun, rain, and the hard work of plants. Moments after starting to pick, our 6 year old says “this is hard work,” and unknowingly created space for us to delve further into this connection she has made.
We chat together about how whenever we eat fruit purchased at the grocery store, someone, somewhere had to pick it. We talked about how this job is difficult, and most frequently done by immigrants in the United States. The six year old chimes in . . . “Mama, your clients?!”
“Yes honey, some of Mama’s clients have jobs picking fruit and vegetables for people to buy in the store. They work very hard and do a difficult job so that people can eat the yummy food from the earth.” I can see the wheels churning inside her head.
It is important to us, as a family, to take a step back and explore the ways our food reaches us. While we do often take adventuresome routes to gather food, like most families we rely on many food items purchased at the grocery store, most commonly picked/processed/delivered by hard-working immigrant workers.
In this season where most immigrants have record levels of fear and anxiety, we paused to say a prayer of gratitude for the workers, a prayer for change in the system, and a prayer of appreciation for this delicious, robust blueberry gift.