Appalachia Appalachia Through My Eyes

Appalachia Through My Eyes – Reaching For The Sunshine

My life in appalachia reaching for the light

The other evening I was walking up the hill from Granny and Pap’s when I noticed a Blackberry briar growing in an unlikely place. I probably would have never noticed it-except the white blooms seemed to shine in the shady edge of the woods.

The roots of the blackberry lay well within the woods. The briar was long and lanky with not many leaves or blooms except for the portion that had found its way out into the sunlight.

I stood there looking at the blackberry briar thinking it was truly profound. Even though it was rooted in the damp dark woods beyond the ditch, it fought its way through the trees and laurels into the sunshine where it bloomed in fragrant beauty in the hope that it would produce berries-its life’s calling.

I walked home, got my camera, and went back down the hill to take a photo. I thought “Maybe if I take a photo and write about the lone blackberry briar on the Blind Pig it will remind me to reach for the sunshine too.”


Appalachia Through My Eyes – A series of photographs from my life in Southern Appalachia.

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  • Reply
    Linda Shupe
    June 6, 2013 at 8:08 pm

    I have felt like crying for many days now, just feeling melancholy. This is just what I needed to perk me up. I long to come to the mountains and find a little place to spend the last of my days. My daddy was from the hills and my husband was born in the hills. Maybe God will help me to get their before I die.

  • Reply
    May 23, 2013 at 10:05 am

    Amen to that!

  • Reply
    Sue Crane
    May 22, 2013 at 8:56 pm

    a great reminder! Much sunshine to you and those you love.

  • Reply
    RB Redmond
    May 21, 2013 at 11:59 pm

    “Maybe if I take a photo and write about the lone blackberry briar on the Blind Pig it will remind me to reach for the sunshine too.”
    Native Americans have a saying, “When your face is toward the sunshine, you will not see the shadows.” In other words, when we live with a positive attitude, we will not notice negativity.
    Do you understand?
    God bless.

  • Reply
    May 21, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    Love this post. I will try to remember to reach for the sunshine!

  • Reply
    May 21, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    Even a transplant like muyself can bloom where it lands, so long as it gets the right fertilizer and adapts to its new home…

  • Reply
    Richard Moore
    May 21, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    Beautiful picture of a lovely blossom. I love seeing it on the edge of my yard and know the promise of berries in the future.

  • Reply
    May 21, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    Reading the Blind Pig each day
    shows your keen, gentle, nature-
    loving attitude. I like that.

  • Reply
    May 21, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    Thanks Tipper!! Am reaching and will continue to do so.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    May 21, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    and Ethelene…Yes, I heard my Grandmother say, “Bloom where you are planted!”
    I had a family member that stressed over, the desire to go back to her hometown of her birth/beginnings…so much that I think it squelshed her opportunity to bloom where she was planted with her husband.
    Never feeling quite accepted, although people loved her…I still think that is the “standoffishness” in the deep mountain culture! For some anyways!
    Love your analogy of the brairs and growing toward the sunshine.
    Thanks Tipper,
    Have a great day. It is very warm and sunny here today.

  • Reply
    May 21, 2013 at 11:54 am

    Thank you for reminding us that if we get still and just look and listen, nature can teach us everything we need to know!
    I was raised on the same maxim as Ethelene, the northern foothill version is, “bloom where you’re planted”. That little blackberry knows it!

  • Reply
    May 21, 2013 at 11:46 am

    This post about the little white blackberry flower and how it symbolizes life and the will to live sure reeled me in today. Something about the way wild things are always determined to make an effort no matter how futile sometimes to live gives us all courage. Like you said “To reach for the sunshine”.
    This post made me think of that old Flatt and Scruggs song, “You are my flower.” So, I looked it up on you tube and watched Flatt and Scruggs and Momma Maybell Carter play it. Those last two lines say it all: “So forget all the tears
    But don’t forget to smile.”

  • Reply
    May 21, 2013 at 10:28 am

    Thank you, Tipper. You touched my heart. “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of sliver” Proverbs 25:11

  • Reply
    Ron Perry, Sr.
    May 21, 2013 at 10:23 am

    If you notice flowering trees and bushes growing thickly along the roads and Interstates, only the edge of the tree at the end of the thicket have flowers and only where the sun hits it. We need our Sonshine also to bloom.

  • Reply
    May 21, 2013 at 10:22 am

    What a lovely post and a beautiful reminder to stay positive. Now that you’ve written this post, maybe the briar will produce a lot of berries:)

  • Reply
    Rooney Floyd
    May 21, 2013 at 9:28 am

    Profound! A beautiful lesson for life. Another example of the power of observation.

  • Reply
    Patti Tappel
    May 21, 2013 at 8:46 am

    The sunshine coming up over the mountains this morning and into the Keith house windows is so refreshing. I pray God shines it on all those suffering in Oklahoma today.
    See you tonight.

  • Reply
    May 21, 2013 at 8:34 am

    It’s amazing the things we see remind us to always strive for the best no matter where our roots have been planted. Thank you for this post today, I needed it.

  • Reply
    steve in Tn
    May 21, 2013 at 8:34 am

    Nature is amazing,

  • Reply
    sheryl Paul
    May 21, 2013 at 8:22 am

    I love the thought and reminder to reach out for life, not to let it pas us by.

  • Reply
    May 21, 2013 at 7:51 am

    Every day of this life is amazing. The proof that God designed and watches over everything lies in that Blackberry brier. It is reaching out to the sunshine, and will make a nice snack for a critter.
    I try very hard to teach my Grandson how to open his eyes and notice all the splendor of nature. Just when I think I am getting nowhere, I will hear a squeal from the backseat, “There is a Mallard duck.”

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    May 21, 2013 at 7:44 am

    YES!! A very good reminder for all of us to reach for the sunshine. Many of us have roots in dark places.
    Bill used to sing to me all the time….”You are my sunshine, my only sunshine…..”

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    May 21, 2013 at 7:32 am

    Tipper, Your beautiful picture of the lone blackberry vine in bloom and your musing on it were a wonderful way to get my day started! Thank you! I was reminded of an adage I heard a lot in the mountains when I was young: “Bloom where you are!” I don’t know the origin of it (didn’t trace down the source), but your post today reminds me that we can, indeed, spread much cheer when we “Bloom where we are!” Thanks!

  • Reply
    May 21, 2013 at 7:26 am

    Isn’t it amazing how living things struggle to survive and very often they are successful. I think you now know where there will be a secret stash just for your munching when the time comes.

  • Reply
    Ray P. Algee
    May 21, 2013 at 7:08 am

    Tipper, with all of the storm devastation reports coming out of the midwest, we need to keep reaching for the sunshine. Thanks

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