Helen Bach: Life is like... picking fruit?

Picking blackberries can be analogous to life itself, says Helen

Picking blackberries can be analogous to life itself, says Helen

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Ah, autumn – season of mists and mellow fruitfulness and all that.

I love this time of year.

One of my favourite autumnal activities is picking blackberries.

I always did this as a child with my family and it reminds me of those happy, carefree days when all you had to worry about was going back to school after the long summer holiday and what your new teacher(s) would be like.

As I was picking this year’s crop, battling with the briars and nettles, I was musing that picking blackberries is a bit like an analogy for life when you think about it.

The best fruit always seems to be on the highest briars, just out of reach.

To get them, you really have to put in a lot of effort.

Sometimes you stumble and injure yourself in the process, but if you persevere it’s usually worth it in the end.

You have to check your fruit though, because even if it looks good on the outside sometimes the one you’ve selected has a grub hiding in it.

Also, occasionally no matter how hard you try, you just can’t get reach the one you want.

That’s when you need to know it’s time to give up.

As a great philosopher once said (I think it was Kenny Rogers in The Gambler), you got to know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em, know when to walk away, know when to run.

Or, if you prefer, there’s the Serenity prayer – God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.

Both of which I think are good pieces of advice for life from very different sources.

So, to summarize from my ramblings above, always try your best, learn what is attainable, find out what it isn’t, don’t judge by appearances, know when to give up and walk away to enjoy the fruits of your labours (or perhaps run if a pesky wasp is chasing you!).

Read more from Helen here.