June’s full moon is called the Strawberry Moon. Here in the Midwest, strawberries ripen as this month’s moon waxes and wanes.
In a good year, we’ll get two, maybe three, weeks of sun-ripened sweetness that shows the sham of store-bought berries.
Many of us make annual pilgrimages to the local berry grower. We either pick our own or buy quarts of early summer sweetness distilled into small red berries.
Thank goodness there are still things that capitalism, with its relentless tactics of anxiety, envy, and distraction, can’t touch. Field strawberries naturally ripened are too fragile to ship even a hundred miles, let alone thousands.
Tasting a strawberry plucked from the dirt, ripened by sunshine under an open sky, reminds us of the difference between eating and tasting.
It reminds us too of the cycle of seasons. Seasonal ripening speaks to the reciprocity inherent in nature. Nature grants us rights to harvest only so long as we bear the responsibility to nurture and protect soil and water.
This past year brought home to all of us how interconnected we are. Hopefully, we learned that our well-being depends on everyone’s well-being. Maybe we’ll yet remember that our well-being depends on the planet’s, our only home, well-being.
Back home, I pause to savor this annual pilgrimage. This ancient process of recognizing the season, taking time to harvest, and listen to bird songs. The pulse of wind and sun on my skin reminds me home is bigger than the walls around me.
It’s easy to fret and worry. What will become of us? But slipping a plump strawberry into my mouth becomes a promise of more springs and summers to grow wiser. A promise of future Strawberry Moons shining on a planet where we’ve learned to care for each other and our home.
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