Jewels in a Jar
loving offering from Jackie Greer
Saturday morning, my Boxer Mosely and I walk the hard dirt path.
As the Sun rises golden, the dense blackberry bushes absorb the
brilliant rays. But the Sun’s radiance is there, hidden
in tiny red and black globules sweeter than honey.
My basket, my stomach and my spirit filled, I carry my globes of light into my kitchen. I sit with a cup of tea, resting for the work ahead. For our Ancestors, this was a time to fill root cellars with squash and capture the summer’s bounty in jars.
are with me as I pull out my canning pot, fill it with water and
lift it onto the stove. I light the flame and slide empty canning
jars into the water to heat and sterilize.
I pull out a heavy Dutch oven, the crucible of transformation,
and empty my basket into it. I measure the sugar. Every life,
no matter how bitter and full of pain, has some sweetness. As
I crush and thank the berries, they pour out their blood in sacrifice,
as the God will soon do, opening the Fisher King’s wound
to bless the Land with Sovereignty. Only through sacrifice can
we be transformed. I add a little lemon juice, the tartness that
will make me treasure the sweetness all the more.
“It is time for that sweetness to be released but it is also time for the thorns to prick your fingers; a soul never grows without pain. But as your fingers bleed, Mother Earth’s laughter echoes in your heart as Her sweet juices run from your mouth.”
I stir with my favorite wooden spoon, stained with jam and spaghetti
sauce and the love and tears of two generations. As the spoon’s
energy and my love and offering prayers pour into the pot, sweet-smelling
steam fills the kitchen and the jam becomes a ruby red scrying
mirror. I see my Grandmother’s smile. Her love and offering
prayers unite with my own. In the translucent red jewels on the
spoon I see countless generations whose bodies returned to the
Earth but whose spirits live in me.
I pull the hot jars from the canner with my lifting tongs. I place a towel on the counter to protect my pure vessels from cracking, and ladle the jam into them. Making sure they don’t overflow, I remember that the Christian Scriptures say we are never given more than we can handle.
I lift a hot metal lid with rubber underneath from a small pot of boiling water and center it on each jar, then screw on a metal band to hold each lid in place. Not too tight—there must always be room to breathe. Gently, as I must always handle my heart and soul, I lift the full jars into the hot water canner. I set a timer and wait while listening to the cauldron’s gentle burble.
I sip my tea and wait. The heart must wait until the time is right for harvest, and trust the Universe that It will know when the time is right.
A soft ding interrupts my reverie. It is time. I lift each jar from the canner and let it rest on the towel-covered counter to cool.
The cycle is complete, and jewels in a jar are ready for my shelves. I pause, enjoying their glow, and thank the Shining Ones for my private harvest.