(Hold a ripe strawberry, green stem intact.)
Oh, sweet gift to the Seneca, I admire you. You are shaped like the heart to remind us that we are to live by the heart.
Your flesh is red, to tell us our hearts should be moist with blood, never dry and brown and crackly.
We study the seeds on the outside. They are many, to teach us that there are many ways in the world to believe, to understand life. All are worthy of respect.
We finger the leaves, so we keep in mind that we must always stay connected to Mother Earth and appreciate her gifts.
Now, we eat this beautiful strawberry from the bottom up (in silence), relishing the sweet taste. For the last bite we eat berry and leaf together to help us remember life holds bitter tastes with sweet. For all, we keep a thankful heart.
Recorded by Jose Hobday— Seneca Oral Tradition in WomanPrayers by Mary Ford-Grabowsky