“If the day and the night are such that you greet them with joy, and life emits a fragrance like flowers and sweet-scented herbs, is more elastic, more starry, more immortal—that is your success.” – Thoreau, Walden
Have you ever seen a huckleberry? Ever eaten one? The name in Americana conjures Twain’s raft-floating boy or perhaps Audrey Hepburn longing song about “my huckleberry friend” in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. But the consummate hunter of the actual berry known in New England parts was Henry Thoreau. Allegedly, the present moment’s chanticleer gathered children for huckleberry hunting expeditions.
What people forget, Thoreau says to Ralph Emerson’s son Edward in the play The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail, is that huckleberries are everywhere. “The best huckleberries,” he says, “have a sly way of being exactly where you are standing!”
The best moments can be the size of huckleberries. A stolen kiss. A quick jaunt in a canoe. An outdoor shower. A real conversation with your mother. An opening in the mind that says ‘everything is okay as it is right now.’ Your daughter’s cackle upon seeing you in the morning.
This evening I took my daughter through the woods out back to pick real berries – black raspberries. She ate almost as many as we picked. At one moment, her mouth smeared with red and blue streaks of joy, she said, “Fun!” and a kingfisher rattled its own cackle as it darted across the pond. Orange sunlight spotted her cheek. My wife, not far off, walked content in her garden as she picking veggies and greens for dinner. And I imagine my father on the other side of the country pedaling a bicycle for the first time in fifty years to jump-start his waning memory that he might gather some berries himself.
What were your day’s three highlights? Share them below – and let us know where you’re writing from?
“The true harvest of my daily life is somewhat as intangible and indescribable as the tints of morning or evening. It is a little stardust caught, a segment of the rainbow which I have clutched.” – Henry
See you in the woods,
The 3 Highlights Guy
P.S. Sorry for the temporary hiatus. I had to travel for ‘family biz.’ Many highlights but not enough space to set them down each day. -t3hg