Magic Saskatoons

By Linda C Butler

I was with Grandma Jackman when a former neighbor from Saskatchewan visited, bringing her a gift of a jar of canned saskatoon berries.

Grandma told me about the wild saskatoons that she picked when she had a young family during the Depression on the Prairies. I was anxious to taste the fruit as I had never lived where they grew in abundance.

We had lunch, then the magic jar was opened.  The dessert dishes were set out and filled with the tiny globes of midnight blue fruit.  Grandma took the first taste and her eyes sparkled.

“Wonderful.” she said.

I tasted a spoonful next, but I did not find the magic in my spoonful. Grandma refilled her spoon and gave a big smile.  I realized then that I tasted only fruit, whereas Grandma tasted the memories of her lost youth on the Prairies.  She saw herself as a young woman gathering wild berries and rolling out pie crusts for the delicious pies she baked for her family or a church social.  She smelled again the simmering jam in the pot as she made preserves.

At this time, Grandma’s first and second husbands were dead and her family grown and scattered.  She was an old woman with only memories, and the bowl of preserved saskatoon berries gave her back her youth for a little while.  They were the best gift anyone could have given her.

(A reference for Saskatoon berries is here.)

About Linda C Butler

I write pioneer stories from the Herb Lake Ghost Town in Manitoba. Please do not re-blog this material or re-publish without my permission.
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