Aronia - Aronia spp.

Aronia - Aronia spp.

Clothing The Mystery

One day I woke up and didn’t know where I was. In front of me was the most beautiful light, undulating its movements into an infinite number of shapes. Its beauty was beyond anything that could ever be described. It was too much. So I covered it with clothes.

"Who hears may be incredulous, Who witnesses, believes."

At first the clothes were fairly transparent and lightweight, but as time went on I couldn’t resist the urge to add more clothes on top. I became so fascinated with clothing this mysterious thing, that I forgot about the mysterious thing. Layers and more layers consumed my vision. I would measure out the length and height of new clothes and create formulas and theories about which clothes fit the best. I would codify these into theologies and laws that would govern how I described and related to it. Words and more words layered on top.

"Words are like fingers pointing at the moon. Many people look at the fingers, never seeing the moon to which they point."

Many winters had passed before I realized that I did not know what I was looking at. It was ugly, extremely heavy, and it smelled. I thought I knew what I was doing, as I could name the clothes, measure their dimensions, look at their descriptions in books, and see their artificial designs, but I had gotten lost somewhere along the way. All this work that I had put in, and yet, something was eating at me, something of profound importance was not in my equations.

“The most subtle but insidious forms of control are the ones lurking between the letters, concluding naturally ones thoughts towards normative ends, softly landing one into familiar territory with its familiar categories.”

Well, where do you begin when you don’t know where to begin? Deconstruction. I set myself on going backwards, as if going back into a child like state. I started undressing the mystery. Little by little, I let my ideas and beliefs about what I thought I knew fall away. I let go of my desire to codify, measure, and describe. Piece by piece the old worn out layers were peeled off and thrown into the fire. This was not an easy or a quick process, and it took me many springs.

“The habitual confusion of symbols with things symbolized whether on the part of individuals or societies, is serious enough at all levels of culture to provide a perennial human problem. The charge against the Pharisees, it will be remembered, was that they were obsessively concerned with the symbols of piety at the expense of an adequate concern with its spirit.”

Finally, summer had come and small dazzling light began emanating from this thing. It was intoxicating. A new passion and fervor swept over me and even more clothes were pealed off. Before I knew what was happening I had been draw into some mysterious reunion with the indescribable; motionless motion, pulsating stillness, silence and sound, form and formless, but only for a moment. It was too much. So I covered it with clothes, and began describing it again. And describing it brought so much joy. The naked mystery was not angry at me for clothing it, for clothing and unclothing it whispered, were all part of the adventure. Fall had come.

Eadem mutato resurgo - “Although changed, I arise again the same.”

Though this story may be perceived as metaphorical in nature, I catch glimpses of this mystery when I pay attention to the Aronia plant. Many are the times that I walked by this plant, never noticing the mysteries within it. For I had clothed it with words, beliefs and ideas. There were so many times, when I saw the Aronia berry, that I clothed it with the words; poison, chokeberries, unattractive, worthless, bitter, tasteless… but as I began to deconstruct, after having forgotten where I was, I began to spend more time with this plant. And like a child not worried about putting correct names on everything, those old words and beliefs fell away, and new lighter and more transparent clothing was again discovered. Words like, nutritious, beneficial, medicinal, reliable, intelligent… Even these words are beginning to fall away as I discover more and more of this mysterious light pulsating as this amazing thing that has been named Aronia.

"For a lack of attention a thousand forms of loveliness elude us everyday."


Looking like a blueberry, Aronia is slowly becoming known as a new super fruit. And it really is a super fruit, as it is super nutritious, supposedly having more antioxidants and flavonoids than any other northern grown fruit. Beyond its nutritious value, it can be super tasty if used in creative ways. If you eat the berry straight off the bush and early in its cycle, you will find it very tart and astringent, with a dry like feeling in your mouth. If you wait later in the season, it does seem to sweeten up a bit.


Aronia Ice Cream

There are so many ways to use Aronia, whether it be in juices, syrups, sauces, jams and jellies. One of our favorite ways to eat Aronia is to put it in ice cream. The sweetness of the ice cream with the tartness of Aronia creates a magical experience.