As I reached to pick some raspberries from one of my husband’s five canes last night, thinking someone has to eat them because most of our family is away in Prince Rupert, it triggered a memory.
I think it is my earliest one.
I am with my mom at a U-pick in Terrace. She is dressed in dark clothing and crouched down picking beside me.
As I reach to pop a berry into my mouth, she glares and says: “No.”
She explains that we have to pay before we can eat them.
I was two years old at the time. Perhaps a psychiatrist might suggest there’s a reason this is my first memory.
Was it my first realization of the importance of being honest? I don’t know.
I only know that memory has always stuck.
Years later in Nelson when I was eight years old, our neighbourhood gang ended up in someone else’s yard snitching edible chestnuts.
I wasn’t bold enough to pick them off the tree.
But don’t be fooled, I was tricky enough to justify to myself that it was OK to pick them up from the ground.
My conscience, unlike my fingers as I handled the edible chestnuts and their porcupine-like covers, wasn’t pricked.
Not until a lady yelled at us to get out of the yard.
Then the dread set in and hours later my father could hear me sobbing from my bed.
When he asked what was wrong and my tale came tumbling out, he assured me what I’d done was wrong but the good news was my remorse probably meant I wouldn’t do it again.
Whether it be sweet raspberries or prickly chestnuts, along the way we learn what is rightfully ours.
And some of us, like little Peter Rabbit, need more lessons than others.
Monica Lamb-Yorski is a reporter at the Williams Lake Tribune.