Every year we pick strawberries on the first day of summer. We make various jams from them, and put some in bags in the freezer for delicious smoothies. We also talk while we’re on our way there, and during it about a few things. We talk about how it’s the first day of summer, which means it’s the longest day of the year. We talk about all that Mother Earth has grown since the first day of Spring. As well as all that we have grown in our lives. We discuss that which is ready for harvesting in our own lives as well as what we need to further nurture and grow more before it’s “ripened” in our lives. We talk about the unintentional “plants” we’ve sowed (such as being argumentative, or jumping to assumptions, or whatever it is that each of us has been “growing” in our lives.) The good and the not so positive all get reflected upon. Then we decide what we shall continue to nurture and what we shall “pull” or “weed out” of our lives and ourselves. I started doing this with the kids as well as myself when C was very young, because I feel that regular introspection and honest reflection about ourselves is one of the ways we can help ensure we are growing in the ways we want to be. Conversely, it means that the things we don’t want to be “growing” within ourselves can be “pulled out” faster, when it’s had less chance to grow unchecked. It’s easy to say we’re going to do _____ and ____. It’s a bit more challenging to really look at oneself and see where we’ve perhaps gone off the path we’d prefer to be on and admit ownership of our “flaws” or less than virtuous aspects. But with regular honest, open reflection on who we truly are at that point in time and how it fits with who we aim to be we can foster the traits we most admire like honesty, patience, selflessness, honor, etc with better results than if we leave ourselves “unchecked”.
Summer Solstice Strawberries & Our Virtuesby starbursteyes on June 23, 2013