Saturday, October 13, 2012

Pokeberry Art

I grew up in the country. Many of my days were spent outside picking berries, swinging on our tire swing, and trekking deep in our woods with my brother.

Our woods were full of pokeberries.

 Do you know what pokeberries are?

They are tall plants that have blackish-red berries that hang in clusters.

My mom loved teaching us about all the plant and tree life around our home.

She taught us all about pokeberries and how the Native Americans used them to make ink. Many say that the Declaration of Independence was written in fermented pokeberry ink. It is toxic and therefore we always had to be very careful when handling them.

With all that said, I am the happy grower of pokeberries in my southern backyard. I was elated when I found them behind our home. I begged Daniel not to put the weed killer on them. Being sweet and all, he let them live.

Today I decided I was going to create something with them. That's what we used to do. We would gather our berries and make paint by smashing them. (That's the fun part)
In one of our home videos my brother and neighbor friends are in our basement painting with them and my mom asks my brother what he is painting and he says, "A Storm."

It was funny then, but

I couldn't help thinking more seriously about that comment as I painted today. How often do we paint the storms of our lives? Do we show our storms to others? Or do we fear others will think we are weak?  It made me think about all the storms I have experienced since my childhood. Looking back most of my storms were just mere cloudy days that weren't as bad once they were over. Those really tough storms serve a great purpose though. They always let us know that all hard things in life do pass.

                        Thankful for precious family memories that continue to inspire.

Have a blessed weekend!

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