Today’s Word from Rev. David Bieniek…  

The full moon this month (which happened back on June 5) had three different names that I found interesting. In Europe it was known as the Rose Moon, presumably the time when roses are blooming and could be harvested, even by the light of the moon. For the Algonquin and Lakota tribes, this was known as the Strawberry or Berry Moon. It was a time when the ripe berries could easily be picked and were at their sweetest. Some of our strawberries are ready, but most of our berries are definitely not ripe enough to eat yet; something which I prove almost every morning.

The third name I found might be familiar as it was eluded to in the song “Colors of the Wind” from the movie Pocahontas. The line was “Have you ever heard the wolf cry to the blue corn moon?” The Green Corn Moon was the name given to this moon by the Cherokee. It signified the moon before the corn was ripe which would happen later in the summer.

I recently saw a bumper sticker that read “If you like to eat, thank a farmer.” When I was growing up in South Texas, I was able to see farmland all around me. I still remember the joy each year of seeing the flax ripen. It seemed to me as if the green stems that I had been watching, turned a gentle blue toward harvest time, and the field looked like a waving lake.

My little boy heart watched with sadness as that field (and cotton, corn, and alfalfa fields) were plowed under to make way for malls, shopping centers, and parking lots. Rapidly, our little town turned from an agricultural to an urban environment.

Another reason that I love being on this island is the amazing abundance of agriculture nearby. I love watching the fields transform from kale in the winter, to various forms of vegetables in the spring, to corn growing tall and green in the fall. And in between each crop, the farmer will cut down the old crops, and then the eagles feast as the mice, rabbits, and voles are rooted from their hiding places. The Circle of Life is at its best in agricultural areas.

You may not have ventured out to them yet, but the abundance at our farmers’ markets on this island reminds us of the bounty of nature. There is no way to get to all of them in a single week. But what I love most is watching the parade of variety that different farmers are able to bring. One week there are Jerusalem artichokes and the next week, after we have learned to cook them, they are all gone and the beets have come in. The flowers also rotate. Daffodils, tulips, lilacs, irises, and peonies all take their turn as centerpieces on our table. When the dahlias come to bloom, you know the season is ending.

As the moon makes its way through the year reminding us of the march of time and seasons, as the fields get plowed and then replanted, as the vegetables and flowers rotate through their places in the farmers’ markets, may we also realize that our life, too, moves forward. Not all change is easy, and it may not seem that all change is good, but all change is important. May we all learn to embrace it and learn from the gifts of nature.

Our world will continue to march through this time of separation, reopening, and hopefully, healing. The old adage of “time heals all wounds” is not quite correct. It is what we do with that time that will help us to heal and move our life forward.

Rev. Dave Bieniek

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