By Colleen Bauman
(Written during blueberry season.)

I’m enjoying being a Gleaner. Besides my once a month volunteer job picking up and delivering bread from a local bakery for the Gleaner family, I go on the occasional glean in the fields. Yesterday, it was gleaning organic blueberries. Often times I don’t know anyone else on the glean so I quietly pick, listening to the small talk in the field, about nothing and everything at the same time, or enjoy the sound of a distant rooster or flock of geese flying overhead.

But today would be different. It just depends on the cast of characters, I guess. Two women on the other side of the row were in conversation. One apologized for something. And the other, said, “Don’t apologize! Women need to stop saying, ‘I’m sorry’, all the time! A woman came late to a class I was teaching and apologized and I said, don’t apologize!” Her friend said, “Well, what should I say in a situation like that?

“Anything!” was her reply. “Or, something like, thanks for waiting for me,”

I couldn’t resist jumping in at that point to say how much I like how that turns a situation of regret to one of gratitude, making it better for all in the room. I read a long time ago that gratitude training has been used with success with addicts.

She responded with, “I’m Sarah, by the way.”
“I’m Colleen, by the way.” I replied.

Much more conversation ensued and then singing some songs together. Just another glean. The fruit, or the vegetables are the least of what we bring home. Thank you all for a great season, and for being in my community of gleaners.

(photo by Mario Mendez for Unsplash)