“If I had one last day on earth, I’d want to spend it picking Blueberries.”
I was surprised by the comment. My wife Vivian and I had heard about a local Blueberry farm owned by the family of a friend. We were looking for something new to do to get out of our neighborhood and break out of our rut. So we got in the car and took a drive.
Once we got to the farm, we had a choice to make. We could buy already picked blueberries, or we could pick them ourselves.
Viv wanted to pick them, and since it was much cheaper that way, my financially motivated mind was all in!
To the Blueberry Fields We Go!
We were given baskets, showed how to tie them around our waists and sent off to the ripest rows of blueberries. We’d been picking for about 20 minutes – together, but alone in our thoughts. It had been a difficult year or two with preparing for, moving and then adjusting to retirement. That’s when Viv made the comment about wanting to pick blueberries if this was her last day.
My first thought was “Wow. She’s really having fun!” This warmed my heart because I knew there had been too little of that lately.
Then I pondered a little more. If I knew this would be my last day on earth, what would I do? What would you do?
My Last Day
I have to admit, I’m not sure… even now, weeks after we picked the blueberries. My first thought is I’d want to contact all of the people in my life who mean so much to me and have one last conversation. But I think that would just end up being sad. I’d want them to know how much I care. Then again, I wouldn’t want to spend my final day crying.
No, I guess I’d want to spend the day with my wife. Perhaps it would be doing things I’ve always been afraid to do. She’s always wanted to go parasailing, and I’m like – “feel free to go and I’ll record you on video.” So, maybe we go parasailing.
I’ve always wondered what it would be like to jump out of a plane, but I’m not going to do that. You know, unless it’s on fire.
How about a helicopter tour? As a journalist for 40 years, I can count on my hands and toes,along with your hands and toes – all of the stories I’ve written about tour helicopters that have crashed. But on the last day? I guess I might sign up for a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon.
It’s a lot to consider, but ultimately I think Vivian is right. She loved the time we spent picking blueberries because it brought her “utter peace,” and reminded her of joyous times. She remembered being in her Grandmother’s vegetable garden; and of picking Raspberries with her siblings at the airport where her Dad would fly his plane. She thought about nature, and God’s bounty. And she imagined that this was what Heaven will be like.
Picking Blueberries gave Viv time to listen to her inner voice and to reflect. So instead of a jam packed final day with non-stop adrenaline, maybe that final day should be filled with natural beauty, quiet reflective moments, and time to give thanks for a life well-lived.
Guess what? I just realized – at this moment – that I don’t have to wait until my last day to do any of that.