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The Strawberry Sacrament

As I have written here many times, I love to spend time in our little garden.  Connecting with the natural world restores and prepares me to work as a holistic healer.  It is an essential part of my daily ritual – my sacramental living in the world.

I always find my cells and sinews vibrating at a higher intensity when I take time each day to sit, to watch the movements of spider, snail and butterfly, to stroke the leaves and stalks of the growing vines, flowers and trees, and to listen to the whispers in the winds from all the directions.  I soak in the sunlight and dance in the rain.  I dig my bare fingers and toes into Mother Earth.  Her flesh and mine become one.  I feel my roots intertwining with those of my beloved Plant Brethren.  I am a part of them and they are a part of me.  We are all Family.

Last week, I noticed the first strawberries ripened on our little vines in the front yard.  There is something utterly exquisite about vine-ripened berries straight from the garden!  Receiving them into our bodies is a sensual experience.  

The aroma!  The sound of the vine’s snap as their offering of love is received into our hands!  The feel of the berry as it passes through our lips!  And then – oh! – the sweetness of each drop of juice floods our tongues, sending shivers of delight down to the core of our very being!

Strawberry Bowl

As I noticed the very first berry ripening last week, I watched closely every day, waiting for the ultimate ripeness for this sacred connection with our Earth Mother, with the Sacred Fire in the sky and with the Winds and Rains that flow so graciously when we need them most.  At the time of optimal ripeness, I grasped the first little berry firmly.  I paused to thank the strawberry plant for this gift and then brought it into my hands, observing every seed, every nook and cranny, tracing the curves with my eyes and fingers, rejoicing in this beautiful life form before me.

Remembering the many sacred stories of old from many tribes and tongues, I offered the first berry back to Mother Earth with a pinch of prayer tobacco filled with deep gratitude and love. The next day, there were 3 berries ripe – just enough for each of us living here to have one juicy, sweet taste of the harvest yet to come. Yesterday, our household enjoyed our first bowl full of these delicacies! What a delight it is to share these gifts of the garden together!  May the coming harvest be sweet for all of us!  May it bring forth the sacred sounds of the Song of the Dancing Heart!

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