Yesterday was the full Strawberry Moon.
It was also the day my brother came by to help me in the garden. He came bearing gifts – a handful of strawberries from his own garden and a beautiful feather he had found.
We worked hard and I ended up feeling tired and wonderful – that delicious feeling of worthwhile labor done in sunshine in good company.
And tired as I was I kept thinking about a friend who spent a year or two as a seasonal farm worker, following the crops across country. She said picking strawberries was the hardest. I think about that every time I eat strawberries. I feel a little sadness mixed in with sweetness, a little discouragement about how unfairly we treat seasonal workers, a little dismayed that the huge agri-businesses make local organic farming and family farming such a difficult path to walk. Apparently strawberries carry some weight for me.
One of the things I’m doing this year is reading Mary Oliver’s early collection of poems Twelve Moons. In it she has poems dedicated to each of the full moons named after the Algonquin tradition, and so there is indeed one named Strawberry Moon. It’s a sad one about the tragedy of a woman’s life spent hidden in an attic.
I keep returning to this mix of sweet and sad associations with strawberries and think there’s a fullness about that – a wholeness just as in all of life.
On the sweet side, though I have a couple of strawberries to share. My strawberry fairy that lives in my kitchen:
And my strawberry salt and pepper shakers, part of my collection of vintage anthropomorphic fruits and veggies shakers:
Aren’t they adorable? I can’t help but smile when I see them.
Now tell me – did you celebrate the Strawberry Moon? Do you have a strange and delightful collection of something we should know about? Associate any particular poems with particular moons? Do tell – you know I love to hear.