Strawberry Moon: It’s shaped like your heart
The Grandmother Moon of Creation during this phase is called:
Photo credits: Muscrat Magazine.
The sixth moon of Creation is Strawberry Moon. The medicine of the strawberry is reconciliation. It was during this moon cycle that communities usually held their annual feasts, welcoming everyone home, regardless of their differences over the past year, letting go of judgment and/or self righteousness. The strawberry is the first berry to ripen it is thought to be a good medicine for the heart and the teeth.
Which brings us to Turtle Island of the Present, in particular, to Southern Ontario, in the middle of the Global-Chemical-Industrial-Agricultural- shitstorm that is our food. It’s still June. There are still strawberries, wild strawberries, in hot meadows (the biggest ones are at the edges, under the long waving grass). But we are not there. We are in the city, and there are grocery stores selling strawberries in green plastic “baskets” with plastic cellophane wrapping and an elastic, at, um, 7.99$ a pint. Who the fuck knows where these were even grown? What soil? Was it even in soil? Did these strawberries enjoy the early breezes of May when they were green-headed dinglers? Whose hands picked these berries? Were they white or brown or red or yellow? Were they old or young? Were they paid well or not well? Did they love strawberries at first but came to despise them by mid-June? (Hello Karl Marx, you were often very very right). Does eating these still break past all that sad and bad to make our mouths smile and our kids ask for more? I think so. If they have flavour and smell. If they are made of old insulation, painted red with stale sesame seeds glued on to appear to be strawberries, well, those ones go for 2.99$ a pint.
We all know food prices are nutso. We all know that this means rich people get to eat whatever they want, whenever they want, and if it doesn’t taste good, they can throw it out and order another. We all know that that means MOST of the rest of us have to “make it work” on less than we need to actually “make it work” (i.e. eat well, eat happily). But please, nevertheless. Get thyself to a store or farmer’s market that sells ONTARIO GROWN CERTIFIED ORGANIC STRAWBERRIES or find a grower nearby (we get ours from the Villeneuve Family, https://www.strictlyorganicgardens.com/) and buy a pint.
Or, if you can’t afford a pint, ask the rich lady next to you in line to buy your one. Or, if that’s just too silly, then ask the vendor to buy a single berry. Seriously. I bet you can get one for .50cents. If I were selling these boxes of red angels, and you asked to buy a single berry, I would hand you a box full and we would smile like it was our same-day birthday all of a sudden.Close your eyes, beloved of the Earth. Put it in your mouth. Stay with the intensity. It’s okay if you rub your nose, like Klay, to dissipate the rapidly building feeling of The Good overtaking you. And your life will be blessed.
Last night, I invited my daughter Kuusta, and her son, Cade, over for ice cream, fresh local certified organic strawberries, and of course, the gilding of the lily: whip cream. “A Sunday on a Monday!” she declared. We ate outside. Cade went into a sort of trance, slowly slowly curling the spoon into the tennis ball of ice cream, withdrawing an even scoop, then he would move the spoon gently under a single strawberry, then tilt it slowly toward the whipping cream, so that each spoonful ended up with teeny white wizard’s hat. Then he actually did close his eyes and put it in his mouth. This mini impromptu ceremonial strawberry eating ritual was repeated about 30 times. Watching this is watching the magic of ODE’MIIN GIIZIS, our common sweet grandmother, do her thing to weave the sweetness of the Earth into the sweetness of children’s bodies. We are stunned and happy and grateful beyond words. Happy Strawberry Moon.
We would like to express our deepest gratitude to all the teachers, human and non-human, who had a role in showing us this sweet path. There are too many to name, and we don’t know all their names anyhow. May they know we have found the strawberries, and are grateful for their guidance. This author would especially like to bend my head and touch my nose to Robin Wall Kimmerer, whose chapter in Braiding Sweetgrass “The Gift of Strawberries” made me laugh to the bottom of my toes with recognition of common exhuberant life. Thank you, Robin. May you know by this post that not all is lost with us stupid white people.
See also the article "The Gift of Strawberries" from the Mamele’awt Community Indigenous Centre.