The silver green of agarita is a familiar sight in our landscape. This is the winter foliage after a light rain, with droplets collecting in the curves of the leaves. Agarita has a tiny yellow flower in the spring that is a source of pollen and nectar for the bees. Then it forms a red berry that is edible by many creatures including us.
Our community cookbook featuring recipes going back a hundred years contains a recipe for agarita jelly. If you don’t want to go to the trouble of making jelly, you can just pop the small berries in your mouth. That’s how the birds and other small creatures do it.
The points of agarita leaves are sharp. Large bushes are so prickly that rabbits and armadillos often dig their burrows underneath. The prickles are useful for discouraging intruders.
Are you finding yourself getting a little prickly? Instead of pondering how you can be nicer and sweeter and less prickly, consider the benefits of prickles. Your prickliness might help you defend yourself against intrusion. Your prickles might defend someone near you. Prickles might be what keeps some tender part of you safe. That is how it works for plants, and we don’t ask them to shed their defenses.
Show yourself the same grace you would show an agarita. Figure out what your prickles are good for. Usually we get prickly when we are defending ourselves or someone else. If you are growing prickles, good for you. You must need them.