Just minutes into this walk along the Auk Rec Trail, Aki and I find one of the year’s first salmonberry blossom. While listening to small waves braking on the beach, I think about a Haida woman I knew in Ketchikan. She taught traditional weaving classes to keep those traditional alive. One night she burst into a carving class I was attending while holding a magenta colored salmonberry blossom. “I wanted to share this first sign of spring,” she said before returning to her class upstairs.
Salmonberry blossoms provide more than beauty in the rain forest. Most will died to give wave to sweet, plump, multi-segmented fruit—The first berries to ripen each year. I always look forward to their harvest even though I buy domestic berries and fruits from the store. Imagine what the taste of their sweetness would mean to someone that had made it through the winter on preserved fish and oil, deer meat, and what the tide exposes.