Tonight’s Full moon was named for the time of year when strawberries are ripening; ready for picking. It is an opportunity to reflect on what has evolved in our lives and honor the work that got us there.
A few years ago, I worked in the wine industry and part of my territory was in California’s Santa Maria Valley. I loved this time of year because I could drive through the vast strawberry fields. They seemed to go forever ala The Beatles “Strawberry Fields Forever” which I would play as I slowly drove through this part of the valley. The sweet scent of ripening berries would fill my car and last even after I passed them.
There was a stark contrast to the sweet smell as I saw laborers working hard to pick the berries, bent over at the waist. It made my lower back ache to think of the hours spent huddled over the strawberry bushes. Grateful for their hard work and for all the work and time it takes to harvest the food we eat.
Ripening is beautiful, but harvesting the fruit is laborious.
When a seed is planted, the water has to soften the seed casing in order for the plant to break through. Then the plant needs to push through the soil to find the light. After sprouting, growth takes place above and below the soil; leaves and roots take form. Then the bud breaks and blossoming begins. Eventually, the blossom creates the beginnings of the fruit. If the circumstances are just right, ripening can occur and the sweetness can be enjoyed.
A plant goes through months of work to produce a moment of sweetness.
There are definite times of struggle during a growth season. The same can be said for the sweet things in life. There are so many celebrations that we acknowledge: the birth of a child, graduations, a new home, a job promotion, retirement, weddings and so much more.
But there is also a lot of work that takes place before the celebrations are had. Pregnancy, studying, relationship ups and downs, saving money, the daily tasks of a job. All these tiny steps are necessary to get to the end result. Each tiny victory is a step in ripening. Each deserve a moment of gratitude.
Practicing gratitude can create even greater celebrations in life. Instead of waiting for the grand finale, make every day a celebration. Being present enough to notice the small things can cultivate more presence and gratitude when the fruit of your labor has matured.
During this full moon, take note of all your small victories. Offer gratitude for each of them. Then create an intention for what is ripening. What do you want to create? What are you working towards? Notice where your small victories have occurred and celebrate what you are becoming.
Ripening is only a moment in time; bring mindfulness to all the little moments leading up and celebrate.