Raspberry and Bear by Carrie Anderson

Photo by Sofía Rabassa on Pexels.com

Wild Raspberry blooms here, in the spring. A delicate white flower protected by the fuzzy embrace of prickly thorns. A halo of red for Raspberry.

By summer, the berries beckon with a sweet earthy scent and a deep merlot color.

In the ripeness of the berries one can taste the woods. There’s a distant memory, not quite tangible, just outside our peripheral vision. This berry it’s the taste of the wildness that connects us.

The juice lingers on the tongue and beckons us to sit down with Raspberry. In the shade of a nearby tree we spend time together, Raspberry and I.  We share a secluded solitude that nourishes my soul. 

Wild Raspberry is a snapshot of hot summer days.  As children, we walk along the dusty back roads and pick the berries. Our fingers turn red as the berry juice bursts and we continue down a path that leads nowhere, but anywhere else, as long as it’s not home. We walk, getting covered in dirty dust, drunk on berry sugar.  We dream of our future with Raspberry trailing along and keeping pace.

At the end of summer, Raspberry lingers on with a headiness that entices with the early scent of decay. In between spring and summer, Raspberry does not wither away and fade with sun. She stands strong in the cold.

Becoming myself, shedding the tight outer idea of self my parents created for me, leads me to move away from the closeness of Raspberry. She doesn’t grow here in my city.

She’s not shy and she’s not reclusive. I can easily find her on any trail, path, or along a meadow.

Raspberry even greets me in the in-between. She calls me, while my eyes are closed. She sings, not a siren song, but a lullaby. I walk towards her and she opens herself up so that we can greet each other like true friends.  I glide into her and am greeted by a soft milky white viscous fluid that is her life force. I am carried to her home.

Raspberry awaits. She glows like a luminescent Luna Moth. She’s pearlescent, she’s like the grandmother to Mother of Pearl.  She has wings, folded upon her back, she wears a cap that covers her head. She is at once, all the colors, but subdued and lit from within. She reminds me of an ethereal Art Deco painting of an ephemeral beauty, almost translucent.

She explains that she wears a crown of thorns to protect herself. Without the thorns, she would not have survived the thirst and hunger of all that await to feast upon her. She would have, long ago, been stripped bare and left to die. The thorns fight for her and battle the greed of others. Raspberry understands there is a delicate balance between self-reliance and thriving alongside others. She extends her delicate fingers, with her offering of berries.

She shares with me a story of how she learned the lesson of needing to give to others and not become hardened and hidden behind her thorns.

Long ago, one summer, a bear cub approached Raspberry, and grabbed at her. It cried as the thorns pierced its soft paw. The cub bled upon Raspberry and ran off to leave her alone. Winter came and she did not see the cub. Spring arrived with the news that there were no new Raspberry plants. She had hurt the cub and he had told his family. They stopped eating the berries and without them, her seeds were not dispersed.

So, she sang her song for the cub, now a young bear. He came with his parents. She wanted the bears to enjoy her offerings, but she had been so worried about her fragile state that she had feared being crushed by the cub. So, she attacked. She asked the bears to come to her again, with thicken pads, to taste her fruit and allow her to flourish. She would nourish them with her red color, a reminder for the blood that was spilled when she had only thought of herself and not been aware of her role in the forest.

Raspberry will not give up her crown of thorns. She needs her armor to protect her from those that would take without asking. Raspberry knows she is sought, and she wishes to share her sweetness.  She gives herself freely when she is treated with care.

Carrie Anderson is a Reiki Master, Plant Spirit Intuitive Consultant, Animal Death Doula, author and sometimes Yoga Instructor. She created her own energy healing called, Green Wisdom Reiki, that blends Reiki with Plants, Animals, and Fungi and has a book of writings titled, Reiki in Nature. She is an author for Reiki Rays and a writer for Witch Magazine and was honored to be a speaker for Reiki Rays Global Summit in 2021. She has been the guest Meditation Script Writer and Meditation Guide for the past several years for their annual Global Summit. Her hobbies include crocheting art with vintage yarns, spending time with her family and her elderly rescue dog. Carrie is guided by her deep respect and honor for Earth in all of her work and life. You can find out more at her website, www.caresreiki.com and follow her on Instagram at @caresreiki and @ladycrochety.                                                                                

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