Raspberries AS AGENTS OF CHANGE
Heartfulness eMagazine|December 2020
ALANDA GREENE explores the topic of perception, through her experience of picking raspberries in the garden, and understanding the importance of looking at life and situations from different angles.
ALANDA GREENE

I pick thoroughly and am convinced that every ripe raspberry, with the tug of thumb and finger, has slid from its cream-colored conical core. Then I kneel, lean down and look up at the low branches to see if any remain. It is not one or two ripe berries now before me – it is dozens. Again, I pick all I see, drop them in the container hanging from a belt at my waist and move on. While plucking from the other side of the row, I look through the sun-dappled leaves and see an abundance of ripe berries hanging where I had just picked everything in sight. “Did these ripen in the time it took me to walk to the other side of the row?” I ask myself, knowing full well it is an impossibility, yet feeling it is the only logical explanation. Because I really checked carefully and thoroughly and there were no ready berries in sight a few minutes earlier in that very place. A squirmy feeling lurks in the back of my mind, hidden like the raspberries have been. Eventually, as I wait, it reveals itself; it’s a reminder that changing my angle of vision can expose what has previously been entirely hidden. It’s a reminder that from a certain perspective, I see something clearly (In this case that there are no ripe raspberries). The certainty of it is reassuring. This is the way it is, the way things are. I can trust what I see, what I have experienced and what I know.

Then my perspective changes and voila! I perceive differently. Things are not what they appeared to be just moments earlier. My reassurance in the certainty of what I know evaporates.

I am reminded of a situation several years ago when I was teaching at the local school. Close to the school is a small church and the current pastor was perceived to be a difficult man by many of us. He complained regularly about the teaching at the school – both what was taught and how. He complained about teachers who did Yoga and therefore didn’t belong in a public school system, because they were engaging in what he called the devil’s work. What particularly vexed me was his regular shooting of the local, wild coyotes wherever he found them, whether they loped across a meadow or walked over a frozen lake. It was this behavior that aroused my considerable antipathy towards him, but it bothered me to feel it with the intensity I did.

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