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Every year, from late September through late October, cranberry bog owners throughout eastern Massachusetts harvest this beautiful, tart fruit. Ten percent of all cranberries are dry harvested with mechanical pickers that comb through the bogs – these are the fruits that we see sold in bags, fresh at the supermarket, ready for the Thanksgiving table. The other ninety percent of cranberries, however, are wet harvested. When the berries are ripe and ready to be picked, bog owners flood the bogs and use machines called “eggbeaters” to stir up the water and loosen the berries from the vines. The little pocket of air inside each berry ensures that it floats to the surface of the flooded bog. It is collected and shipped off with millions of others to be cleaned and processed for sauces, jellies, and juice.

There is something magical about driving around bog country during cranberry harvest. Around every corner are sudden “ponds” of deep red jewels–thousands, floating en masse beside white pine woods under crisp blue skies. It’s breathtaking, even for those of us who’ve seen it all many times.

We were heading for Plymouth for an early evening meal, and we came across a lovely wet harvest underway. We pulled over and hopped out of the car to take some pictures in the late afternoon sun. We were soon joined by several other cars, holding both visitors to the area and neighbors alike . . . all of us with our cameras or phones, snapping away and chatting, making small talk–and also laughing at ourselves, acting like tourists around the harvest of a fruit!

In those few moments we were connected by our appreciation of the beauty and wonder of this event. Some shared information about their cameras, about previous harvests they’d seen, or about the little frogs we saw jumping all over the mass of floating berries, hidden in the photos–but so present in real life! We shared laughter and funny self-deprecating comments, and we connected.

Connection.  Something that human beings hunger for, and that the universe gave to us, in a twenty-minute roadside stop on an October afternoon in South Carver, Massachusetts.


Can you recall a spontaneous moment of connection in your life recently?