The trail held treasures for those willing to stop and look. Yet, the most delicious fruit was within reach - but untouched. Most were willing to comfortably pick low-hanging fruit. The best berries required stretching through some prickly branches. Human nature revealed itself in Mother Nature. When there is some form of resistance, our natural tendency is to stop short - even when there are treasures just beyond that invisible comfort-zone.
John Steinbeck's iconic novel, The Grapes of Wrath, is about a depression-era family looking for hope and a better life. After their farm is seized by the bank, the family heads to California. On their difficult journey the Joads family discover their destination is not what they expected.
Ok, let's get one detail out of the way. Our “grapes” were actually blackberries. The combination of the Steinbeck metaphor, a blackberry's resemblance to grapes and this writer's pension for alliteration; made the title, The Grapes of Resistance, irresistible. The Blackberries of Wrath really doesn't have the same resonance to it. Think of this poet’s license as a way for you to stretch your imagination.
Let's carry on the trail.
Funny enough, the insight on human nature in Mother Nature didn't occur until; nature called. Tucked into part of the trail, out of sight from other hikers, the blackberries called out, "Pick me." Immediately, blackberry bushes were obvious every few steps on the path. The berries were in season and the most accessible bushes were picked over on the Lacamas Lake Trail. Take a step towards the very edge, saddle up to the branches, carefully reach into the chaotic web of barbs and you could rescue the tastiest berries destined for an unceremonious date with gravity and terra firma.
Short people are regularly reminded of their vertical challenges when reaching for anything. We fantasize about comfortably reaching for stuff on higher shelves. (Those annoying tall people never fantasize about being short - unless, of course, they fly in coach.) Today was no exception. The Grapes of Resistance became an epiphany. If a Hobbit like me could access these berries with a little extra effort, anyone could. But they didn't.
What is the opportunity within your reach but mired in some form of resistance?
First, recognize opportunity just off your path.
Second, step as close to the resistance as possible (without getting hurt) and reach in.
Third, carefully choose the fruit that will nurture you.
Fourth, there's no need to be greedy. Ever. Abundance is everywhere with plenty of people stopping short when there is resistance.
Fifth, pick what you can comfortable hold, share and enjoy.
The Great Depression impacted millions of lives and inspired a classic narrative about struggle. You have delicious opportunities waiting for you and your family. Reach past human nature. Go through the resistance. Share HOPE and enjoy.