There are times when life brings together two words which appear to be totally unrelated. Toads. Raspberries. Friendships formed with nothing in common. The “odd” couple that defies the rules of engagement and cultural expectations. The bond or connection that is real and felt strongly, but can’t be explained because similarity or shared culture are absent. Trust me, raspberries and toads do fit together, so follow me….
My sister, who lives in Alaska, is fortunate to have a “public” raspberry patch in her neighborhood. She picks them, eats many on the spot, and brings some of the sweet and tart fruit home. Unfortunately she blames her raspberry picking, and all the reaching and straining, on a muscle pull in the middle of her back. Besides the thorny bush, there is a cost to picking raspberries! A few days after she told me her story I was walking on a path behind houses in my neighborhood and I spotted a raspberry patch in a “public” yard. I smiled and mused how many times I had walked past it and not noticed it. My hand reached for one of the raspberries and I smiled as I ate it thinking of my connection to my sister thousands of miles away.
So that’s the raspberries, but what about toads? Labor Day weekend I had family visitors and we decided to walk through the sculpture park in Loveland. Walking at a leisurely pace we viewed and discussed each sculpture. There was a frog sculpture and the question was posed “What is the difference between a frog and a toad?” My answer was “ You know toads have bumpy bodies like raspberries.” Whoa!! There’s the connection! I know I have a million bits of memory stored just waiting for the opportunity to connect with something. Missing pieces are filed away just waiting to be needed again.
The connection between toads and raspberries is really part of a much larger connection I share with family. We are connected by blood, but what really counts is our connection by love. We walked at our own pace through the sculpture park and walk our own pace through life. One of us may lag behind, but family “waits up” so we can all walk together. If someone runs ahead we know they will circle around and join us again. Family does have an “I” in it so we are all individuals , but family is a indivisible bond.
c : a relation of personal intimacy (as of family ties)