Faithful readers of this blog know that my friend Christa is always upbeat, and that she is part of the couple with whom we have biked on vacation almost every year since 1989.
However, there is much more to Christa. For example, she sees things that we don't see. If we are biking along a country road in Italy, and there is an edible berry along the way, she will spot it. During the summer that we bicycled in the Alsace region of France, Christa spied a tree full of just-ripe cherries on our first day. Perhaps the cherries were not meant to be publicly available, but that would never stop her. Thanks to Christa, we ate lunch under a just-found cherry tree every day.
Christa and Gordon came to visit us in the Berkshires last week. While walking across the deck to the front door with her suitcase, Christa stopped and pointed out the berry bushes along the brook below. That evening our dessert included the freshest black raspberries you can imagine. We hadn't even seen them.
I asked Christa why she notices things others don't. Her answer was interesting. When she was a tiny child in Germany during World War II, her family didn't have enough to eat, so they encouraged the children to find berries or food of any kind. Also, in Germany, children study nature more. School children keep a book of grasses one year, wildflowers the next. And finally, Christa is a professional photographer, taught to see what others do not.
She is very good at it.