June 5, 2020. The strawberry moon, so-called by American Indians to recognize the short season of that luscious fruit, rose at Camp Many Moons last night. Summer arrives soon! Strawberry season is a big deal in the U.P., where summer is so brief. The small town of Chassell, 30 miles from here, holds a strawberry festival that celebrates shortcake. Strawberry-picking provided my first paying job as a pre-teen and early-teen, when we woke before sunrise (5 a.m.) to load our sleepy bodies into the backs of pick-up trucks and ride 30 minutes to the dew-filled strawberry fields and pick until our peddle-pushers were muddy and streaked with strawberry juice. It was uncomfortable work, crouching for hours, but fun too. And lucrative! In my best season, I earned more than $100, which was a lot in the early 70s. (It went into a bank account. My depression-era father taught me well. )
Strawberries remind us to enjoy nature’s bounty when offered. They remind us that our senses are meant to bring joy. Also, that joy can be short-lived. So go eat some strawberries!