Sarah and her family live in Sugar Land. She has a younger sister who is in high school. Sarah’s father is a cell biologist and her mother is a city planner. At this point, Sarah isn’t sure what she wants to pursue professionally, but she knows she’ll have plenty of options. No matter what she chooses to pursue, she’ll always carry special childhood memories with her.
Here’s Sarah Holifield with her essay for KUHF’s This I Believe.
“I believe in picking blackberries in April with my dad. When I think about blackberries, I am five year old again, and I can’t help but be happy, if only for a moment, no matter what else is going on in my life at the time.
When I was growing up, there was a large field between our back yard and the road. We lived in Houston but when I was in this field, I felt like I was in another place, a beautiful place. I loved this field and I especially loved it in April. My birthday is in April, and a birthday is very special to a child. Mine was made even more special by the appearance of blackberries in that field.
My dad would take me through the fence when the blackberries were ripe and give me a giant mixing bowl to fill. My dad and I were the only people who ever went there. I learned to look for red berries because they were easier to spot than the deep, almost black, purple color of the ripe berries, but where there was red, there would be purple, and purple was what I wanted. I loved how the purple would stain my fingers and tongue. I also loved how each individual piece burst on my tongue and filled my mouth with the sweet, tangy juice.
The blackberry bushes had thorns, which made it hard to pick the fruit but that didn’t stop us and we always filled our bowls to the brim. My dad and I would come back through the fence and present two large mixing bowls full of blackberries to my mom and my little sister.
In the last several years, we’ve only gone once. The field doesn’t seem as vast and impressive to me now, like it did when I was five. It’s also getting overgrown, but it is still there, in the middle of the city. It is a part of my childhood that will always be there for me to reflect upon. I believe people should grow up but never completely leave childhood behind. I never want to forget how such a simple thing brought such a feeling of pure joy and happiness, and I never will. I’m not saying “I don’t wanna grow up.” I am saying that keeping in touch with my childhood innocence and wonder until the end of my life will keep me well. This I believe.”