Like Tomatoes to Strawberries: Taking a Break from Productivity to Welcome Spring

I’ll get back to the productivity technique summaries later but for now, it’s time to take a moment to enjoy spring, otherwise known in my part of the world as strawberry season.

There is a little stand I often pass by that, although it offers a limited selection of other fruits, vegetables, and sometimes flowers, is known simply as “the strawberry stand.” A fitting name, since strawberries of several varieties are its main attraction, it stands in front of extensive strawberry fields, and it is open only from March or April until the end of summer. Strawberry season.

Each year when I see the sign with the re-opening date, or I see the panel opened to reveal cartons of red fruit, I know that spring is here.

Though many locals in the know wait until the strawberries have been available for awhile before we buy our first pint, since the later ones tend to have better flavor and quality than the early ones, whenever we get around to tasting our first strawberry of the spring, it is a noteworthy, festive event.

Almost to the point of metonymy (a poetic expression using something associated with something else to represent it — such as the crown representing a monarch), strawberries around here mean spring.

And since spring is often associated with joy and new beginnings, the strawberry, a pure joy to look at, smell, and bite into, is a fitting symbol of this hopeful season.

Strangely, sometimes we get more enjoyment from something when it is a “guilty pleasure,” or a rare treat that is not particularly good for us. But I tend to revel in the fact that many of the things I enjoy, even consider a treat, are also exceptionally good for you.

Of course I knew that strawberries are a great source of vitamin C, and probably a whole range of vitamins, minerals, and phyto-nutrients. I even read once that the malic acid they contain make them good for whitening your teeth. More recently I read that they are actually beneficial in managing GERD and preventing esophageal disease.

A vitamin pill, a tooth polish, a medicine, and a symbol of spring, all in a small, sweet, seedy, bundle in a celebratory red hue. What more could you possibly ask for?

So let’s enjoy the start of spring by nourishing our bodies and our sense of fun and delight with some fresh grown strawberries, before we get back to keeping our goals on track with ‘tomato’ timers.