In her book Braiding Sweetgrass, Robin Wall Kimmerer has a chapter called ‘The Gift of Strawberries.’ She writes, "Strawberries first shaped my view of a world full of gifts simply scattered at your feet. A gift comes to you through no action of your own, free, having moved toward you without your beckoning. It is not a reward; you cannot earn it, or call it to you, or even deserve it. And yet it appears. Your only role is to be open-eyed and present. Gifts exist in a realm of humility and mystery – as with random acts of kindness, we do not know their source." (p 23-24)
“The earth brought forth vegetation: plants yielding seed of every kind and trees of every kind bearing fruit with the seed in it. And God saw that it was good.” Genesis 1:12
During strawberry season, set aside some time to savour a locally grown strawberry. (This practice can be done with other locally grown fruit or vegetables in season.) If you can, pick it yourself. If not, enjoy one from the market or a friend's garden. Hold it gently and reverently in your hands. Pause to give thanks for it – thanks to God and thanks to the plant, the soil, the rain, the sun. Examine its shape and rich colour. Smell it. Feel its texture and delicate skin. Finally, take a bite and taste it. Savour it slowly, enjoying the juicy sweetness.
Take time to reflect on and appreciate the gift of this strawberry. Consider how it connects you to the land on which it grew. Consider how it offers both nourishment and pleasure. Consider how, once you ate it, it became part of you. If you wish, spend some time journaling your reflections, or honouring the experience by offering a prayer, writing a poem, painting a picture, etc.
Blessed be the earth for providing this gift.
Blessed be the sun for helping it to grow.
Blessed be the wind and birds for carrying its seeds.
Blessed be the rain for watering its roots.
Blessed be God, giver of all good gifts.
- Wendy Janzen
Reflections, poetry, prayers, and resources written by Wendy Janzen and occasional guests.