Just like plants, we also need attention and special care. In the same way that hellebores and strawberry plants are completely different in their requirements, we also have varying individual needs and resources required to grow and bloom into our best selves. Down time, social time, sleep and rest, exercise and movement, learning and teaching, routine and adventure… and on and on.
The nuances of life, of humanity, of our existence on this little round sphere hurtling through space at mind blowing speeds is quite frankly beyond our abilities to comprehend, much less take note of, unless we slow down. And when we do… goodness, are we in for a treat! Even on our worst days, the abundance of gifts is present, simply showing us how to give and exist in this world without expecting anything in return. It’s a lesson I will be a student of my entire life.
Strawberries are our theme for the month of May, so it only seems appropriate to share a few passages about one of our favorite plants from one of our favorite books, “Braiding Sweetgrass”, here:
“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. The plant has in fact been up all night assembling little packets of sugar and seeds and fragrance and color, because when it does so its evolutionary fitness is increased. When it is successful in enticing an animal such as me to disperse its fruit, its genes for making yumminess are passed on to ensuing generations with a higher frequency than those of the plant whose berries were inferior. The berries made by the plant shape the behaviors of the dispersers and have adaptive consequences.What I mean of course is that our human relationship with strawberries is transformed by our choice of perspective. It is human perception that makes the world a gift. When we view the world this way, strawberries and humans alike are transformed. The relationship of gratitude and reciprocity thus developed can increase the evolutionary fitness of both plant and animal.” ― Robin Wall Kimmerer
As we take time to slow down this month, we’ll be sharing a few of our favorite things that help bring us into the present moment and savor the flavors of the current season.
For starters, I’ll be making this Giant Strawberries-N-Cream Pop Tart. I made it for Valentine’s Day. I usually don’t even like pop tarts, but there was just something about this recipe that made me smile and it was a massive hit with my family. My sister has been raving about how yummy this Strawberry Salad is, so I think I’ll make that and use some fresh greens from my dad’s garden.
Growing up, my mom would take all four of my siblings and me to Washington Farms outside of Athens to pick strawberries. It was always right before the end of the school year. We’d pick buckets and buckets (and sample quite a few too!) before climbing back into the minivan with our fingers and t-shirts stained red and smelling like the warmth of sunshine mixed with earthy grass and dirt. The next day, we’d proudly carry in our buckets as gifts to our teachers at school (probably sampling one or two more berries off the top just as a final quality control on our drive to school). Maybe we’ll even go pick our own strawberries!
Picking fresh strawberries with my cousin, Claire, at Washington Farms in Bogart, Georgia.
And of course, the Windowsill Strawberry Plant letterpress card is our stationery set of choice this month for obvious reasons ;) Available as a single, set of 6, or as part of our Windowsill Strawberry Collection with jam, tea, tray, and candle included!