That House on Brambleberry Drive
I grew up in the valley in a bramble-covered house.
“It’s nature,” Mama said when we buried three stillborn kittens. “Sometimes stark, but beautiful no less.”
From your tidy lawn in Mountain Heights, you condemned my father’s free-range children.
But I’ve seen you tug at your buttoned collar, heard you sigh as your shoes slide off. I’ve felt your terror of enclosing walls.
So take my hand, love. I’ll show you where the wild berries thrive, where the human spirit comes alive.
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A few notes:
First, if you know me personally, you know burying things in our backyard is no novelty. Thank the huntress cat for that, but it’s really not my idea of fun. Really.
Also, I have nothing against nice lawns, but our backyard is a place of exploration, creation, and well… whatever the kids imagine. We had a four foot deep hole and a wooden “teepee” back there for a good six months this year. Our kids and our home are pretty free-range. So you can take some aspects of this story as semi-autobiographical.
On the other hand, if you’ve read my soon-to-be published novel (or if you read it when it comes out in March), please know that while I enjoy a good bowl of berries, I don’t have any special attachment to them. As a writer, I choose many details – especially those related to nature – for their purported symbolism. Beyond a vague notion of fertility, however, I have no idea what multitude of things “wild berries” might symbolize, and frankly, I’m a little scared to delve too deeply for fear of finding I’ve inadvertently written some rather provocative pieces. Berries just happen to be convenient…