Rose and Strawberry Moon

  Full moon June 2, 2015
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I settled the strap of my camera around my neck, stepped off my front porch, and crossed the yard to a treeless spot. I strolled across the lawn of mixed bluegrass, rye, and sweetly fragrant clover, whose white blossoms lie sprinkled like stars across the deepening green. Climbing the darkening clouds in the east, the full moon of early June began to cast shadows as the sun collapsed into a golden puddle in the western sky.

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As the moon rose higher and brighter and as the sunset glow grew darker, soft shadows of darkest green began to form, twinned shapes of sentinel ash trees, motionless bushes, and fence posts at attention.  A moving feline-shaped shadow padded up to me and leaned her black, silky shoulder against my shin, twining around my ankles.

The breeze had dropped to a whisper of shushing ash leaves.  I could hear the neighbor’s cattle lowing from their pasture and the peeper frogs trilling in chorus. The peace and beauty of this moonlit evening wrapped around me like a blanket.

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Native Americans called this full moon the Strawberry Moon, for the time of not-quite-summer when wild strawberries ripened in the meadows at the sunny edges of woodlands.

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Watching the same full moon sail across the same gentle spring skies, the Europeans named it the Rose Moon, for the time when roses  began to unfold their fragrant blossoms from thorny stems.

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So which is it, Strawberry Moon or Rose Moon?  Sweet fruit or sweetly scented flower?  The choice is a false one.

When searching for full moon names and scientific names of fruit and flower, I found unexpected family ties. To the botanist strawberries are rosaceae fragraria and roses are rosaceae rosa. Both are in the rose family.

*          *          *          *           *

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I read the news about the nine from Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC, who were shot and killed in their own church. I don’t know what to say or what to do, and the fear of stumbling awkwardIy in my response to such sorrow and such noxious hate can paralyze me.

Perhaps I can start with this: there is no “their church” and “our church,” no “them” to our “us.” There is only “us” because we are all family, brothers and sisters in Christ.

There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.   Ephesians 4:4-6   NIV

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I can cry with those who cry, recognizing that I will never truly understand the pain another suffers.

Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.   Romans 12:15   NKJV

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I can call sin by its name:  hate, violence, racism.

Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.   12:9   NKJV

I can celebrate the spirit of forgiveness that is Spirit born.

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I can pray for the families of those who were killed and ask the Lord that sweet fruit may come from bitter actions.

 Treat everyone you meet with dignity. Love your spiritual family.  I Peter 2:17   MSG

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In Christ’s family there can be no division into Jew and non-Jew, slave and free, male and female.

or black church and white church . . .

Among us you are all equal. That is, we are all in a common relationship with Jesus Christ.   Galatians 3:28   MSG

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Emanuel AME church, I send you my love and prayers. You are family.

Posted on June 25, 2015, in Devotional and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 23 Comments.

  1. This post is stunning, Connie! You lead us readers from the natural into the spiritual realm with your beautiful words. What a gentle response to violence…and, yes, we are one in Christ.

    • Thanks so much, Lynn! The recent writers workshop we attended reinforces the idea of oneness in Christ–so many denominations fellowshipping together . (The description at the beginning came out of Sue’s “Land as Character” workshop.)

      • …a wonderful description; i felt i was strolling across the yard with you to gaze at the evening sky (heard those peepers trilling) 🙂

  2. elizabethfstewart

    Amen!

  3. Stunning Connie. Thank-you for continuing to create moments through your words and pictures that bring Scripture alive. Everything in our physical lives points to what God wants us to know about Him and who He is. We are one!

  4. The photos, your words that painted a picture of the moonlit evening, the analogy with the church–yes, stunning! I enjoyed this meaningful post.

  5. beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. these are some of the wisest words I have seen written or spoken about this horrible tragedy. Until we learn to truly love one another we will fall woefully short in what Jesus expects of us. What happens to one of us happens to all of us. We are one family. Therefore the sorrow and the fault lies within us all.

    • Thank you. I’m glad my words spoke to your heart. May we weep with those who weep and hope with those who hope.

      I love these last lines from the Gaelic blessing on your blog:
      “Deep peace of the gentle night to you.
      Moon and stars pour their healing light on you.”

  6. Amazing pictures to show a inspiring thought. I shouldn’t leave God in the church. He wants to walk with me everyday. Thanks for sharing. Visiting from The Weekend Brew.

  7. Stunning pictures and your call to unify as one church speaks deeply to me as I am hearing the same thing ringing loudly in my own heart. Your words are a blessing and joining us at The Weekend Brew is a gift. Blessings!

  8. theresnoplacelikehome05

    Constance,

    What a sweet homage to those that were the victims of senseless violence. Yes, we are one church! A lovely post.Thanks for sharing.

  9. Beautiful photos and thoughts!

  10. Dear Constance, the murders of the Emanuel 9 shook me to my core. Thank you for your beautiful, comforting post.

  1. Pingback: sweet n’ juicy | a poem in my pocket

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