Gifts come in a variety of forms. During this holiday season my sister is visiting from Richmond, Virginia. It has been a year since her last visit so I am especially grateful for this gift.
Nature gives us gifts all the time. As I learned from Robin Kimmerer in her book Braiding Sweetgrass, the strawberry--in the Potawatomi language--is called ode min, the heart berry.
Strawberries are recognized as the leaders of the berries because they are the first to bear fruit. They are gifts from nature.
Kimmerer goes on to say that she would make strawberry shortcake for her Dad on special occasions. On account of the time and effort it took to collect enough for this delicious gift it was truly a labor of love.
"It was a gift that could never be bought. As children raised by strawberries, we were probably unaware that the gift of berries was from the fields themselves, not from us. Our gift was time and attention and care and red-stained fingers. Heart berries, indeed."
"A gift is a thing we do not get by our own efforts. We cannot buy it; we cannot acquire it through an act of will. It is bestowed upon us."-Lewis Hyde
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