The Value of A Strawberry

I sent my children to pick strawberries in Grandma’s garden while my mom and I cleaned the kitchen after dinner. They came back after only 15-20 minutes with just a handful of berries and said, “There weren’t very many there. They were either too ripe or not ripe enough.”

The next morning I took a turn picking strawberries. I worked from one end of the patch to the other, looking under leaves. I checked each plant. I checked each berry. With slow but deliberate effort, I picked a tub of strawberries from the patch they said had been all picked.

They must have expected to only pick strawberries whose appearance was uniformly perfect, like a grocery-store strawberry. Maybe, too, they did not know that each strawberry ripens at its own pace, making multiple pickings of the same patch essential.

KH came out, saw the fruit appearing from my diligent work and worked alongside me. The value of each strawberry grew in our eyes. She saw visions of berries atop pancakes with whipped cream. Now, the treat itself would mean more. Certainly, it would taste better.

For me came the realization of one of the pitfalls of our modern lifestyle. We are far removed from those who produce our goods and services. As a result, we come to expect more and better fruit for the same or lower cost without a recognition of the cost or value involved. In the case of strawberries this means cheaper labor from sources who will do the work we no longer want to do. In the end, we lose sight of that work’s value and the fruit it produces.

While our family is not going to move to my parent’s farm and produce all our own goods and services, the lesson that “whatsoever a man soweth that shall he reap” reminds us of the true value not only of the fruit but the laborer as well.

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1 Comment

  1. Rachel Corbett
    Jun 20, 2008

    Mmmmmmm. Strawberries!

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