When I was a kid, we spent a lot of time making blackberry jam. We picked the blackberries for days, our hands stained, thorns in our clothes and in our hair. The sun beat down on us. It was all blood and blackberry juice. For days we picked, and then the jam and the juice began. We heated the blackberries and we began making gallons of juice. It was hot at first, and once, some of it poured onto my legs and I was burnt. What I remember about the blackberry picking was the thick sweet taste of them when we ate them and the sound of the birds all around us while we picked. It was as if the sky was singing. Some summers I had no shoes. I was very happy. The summer heat smelled like joy.