Start with a blackberry, but take away all the purple flavors, prickly vines, and heaviness of the dark forest. Get down on your knees (yes, like you are praying) and smell the ancient volcanic soil, willow fluff, and lichens. Feel the big northern sky arching above you, so close you can almost touch it, because you are high — both in latitude and altitude. Maybe in attitude, too. Taste the autumn sunlight absorbed in the golden ripeness. Add a bit of orange, maybe kiwi, and crunchy seeds. Enjoy them right there, out on the tundra. They melt on your tongue. If you try to carry them downhill to your kitchen in town, or to share them with others, they will be mush by the time you get there — crushed under the weight of their own sweetness. In which case, you make jam.

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