Blackberries and Brambles

Last night we picked blackberries
You and I

Growing at the path-side
Where we have walked together so many times
Sometimes in chatter
Sometimes in silence
Sometimes feeling the sharpness of feelings like brambles that have cut our skin
And other times rejoicing in the sheer beauty of it all.

I was taken back to eighteen years ago
And that harvest.

Only then
I picked and you grew
A few short weeks away from emerging

Back when I throbbed with anticipation
trepidation
and excitement

Desperate to meet you
And little knowing
How much you would transform my life and evoke in me a love, a joy and a pride
Beyond compare.

Last night
As we surveyed the harvest of plump, shiny, bitter-sweet berries
I felt the full weight of what comes next.

We stand on the verge
Of you emerging into the next phase

And me staying

My heart can hardly bear it
And I want to hold you back

Keep you in my arms
And protect you from whatever monsters and ogres may be out there.

But I also know
That you
My beautiful, brave, blackberry baby

Are ready to go
Into that world of infinite possibilities
Where the love of others will keep you safe
While mine waits there on the path

For the next time we walk together.

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