I am a recovering 'tree-changer,' now settled back into the suburbs, but I learned some valuable life lessons from strawberries. Their seasons taught me about flow, about predators on the hunt, patience and restraint. I learned about the life-force and its constantly changing cycles.
They grew spontaneously, most likely from compost scraps, on the sunny side of the garden next to a large water tank. An ever-flowing mountain stream gushed at the foot of the garden, fertilising the air the strawberries breathed. They snuck up on me each summer of my three year mountain retreat, as I shuddered still whining from vicious winters.
The strawberries sweetly showed me how life energy waxes and wanes, like the moon governing the swelling and retreat of ocean tides. An industrialised mind seeks constant growth, continuous all through the day and night production. This is not how living energy flows. I can't just make more strawberries to respond to the demands of today's breakfast. Sometimes I picked twenty, sometimes one or none.
When I can accept the sporadic yield in my garden, I can accept the natural cycles of the energy flowing within myself. As humans our most basic physical self is still that of a creature, yet we often try to run continuous, like a machine. Better to flow with our natural cycles of energy peaks and troughs if possible.
Pretty strawberries also initiated knowledge of the hunter within. Those strawberries are sweet and delicious to everyone. When foraging the strawberry patch, I am hunting alongside other hunters besides myself. Sometimes to have a strawberry, we need to defend it from a worm, or accept it with a little bite already taken. When everyone wants the same prize, things can get competitive. Worms are up and about very early. There is risk in leaving a not quite ripe strawberry for tomorrow's harvest. When tomorrow comes, that strawberry could be writhing with worms, or gone. Growing food can teach us how to stabilise our desires and wait for the right time to act or harvest, knowing there will be competitors for the fruit.
Teachers are everywhere. Shamans, witches and mystics understand our fractal universe, seeing the strawberry in the universe and the universe in the strawberry. The teachers of nature are there when they are needed, revealing information of a personal nature to the observer. Anyone with the skills to make a story from a picture book, can read the signs and symbols of nature, and strawberry fields.
Leanne Margaret (copyright 2015)