Strawberry Fields

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“Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see.
It’s getting hard to be someone but it all works out.
It doesn’t matter much to me.

Let me take you down, ’cause I’m going to Strawberry Fields.
Nothing is real and nothing to get hung about.
Strawberry Fields forever.”

History tells us John Lennon was amused when people attempted to “over-interpret” his lyrics.  I found myself pondering them one weekday afternoon walking the strawberry fields with my youngest son.

Have you been strawberry picking midday during the workweek recently?

This type of activity would usually send me into a tailspin, as I would ponder tasks undone and responsibilities neglected.  I’m usually far too caught up in my own “stuff” to break routine.  On this day, however, my son made it clear I had no choice but to drop the self-absorption, if only for a moment.  I must confess that these frequent shifts in my daily routine have helped me see a whole new rhythm to things in general.  I highly recommend it!

Here are a few new insights I’ve learned along the strawberry fields.  I’d love to hear some of yours!

  • As we strive to find balance between societal rules and our inner being, it’s very easy to lose the latter altogether. I was reminded of this when my seven year old tossed and turned one night.  I went to his bedside as he confessed to “struggling with my epilogue” for a book he was working on.  Really?  I was struggling with bed wetting at his age.  I did NOT have anxiety about writers block and epilogue’s.
  • Be “courageous like a second grader”. I learned this the very same night when my son declared, “How do our teachers expect us to write historical fiction.  Don’t they get that we all know nothing about nothing?”  I had no idea kids his age were that aware of their predicament.  My son walks into school day after day with his head swimming in epilogues, standardized tests, school bells, and various other forms of nonsense.  And yet, everyday he faces his predicament of knowing “nothing about nothing” with a sense of curiosity, a smile on his face, and his head held high.
  • Avoid the Battle Cry of Adulthood. Try something different!  You may stumble upon a truer path, something that really speaks to you.  I know what I usually say to that kind of statement. “I can’t just listen to that voice inside me.  It’s not practical.” Rumi would tell you, “…Chase a deer and end up everywhere!”
  • Just Say NO! My three-year old son still finds himself connected to that greater whole everyone talks about.  All his peers have an infectious glow to them.  Lately, however, he’s had “problems with authority”.  His preschool teachers tell us he has had to spend time in “time-out” for telling his teachers NO.  As in NO I’m not doing that, and NO that doesn’t feel right to me.  That part of his being is still out there for everyone to see, and in all honesty…I love it.

Celebrate the “off-beat” and unpredictable moments.  They may be just what you need to come to greater knowing.



  1. Dan Franz  April 26, 2011

    Such a great story David, and one I can definitely relate to!

    Leaving the “corporate world” and carving out my own path in private practice has allowed for so many more opportunities for “off-beat” moments with my family, and for myself.

    I have been to more field trips, more “awards days”, more 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade parties, and coached more little soccer games in the past 3 years than I EVER would have been able to be a part of in the past! Not to mention all the healthy and fun things I get to carve out of my schedule when I want or need to.

    There is something amazing about following your own path – it’s never easy, but it sure is worth it.

    Thanks for reminding me just one more time!

  2. Katherine Levine  April 26, 2011

    We are observant Jews–my husband more so than I. (Family joke: I am a convert and when in the blush of proving how Jewish I was, I eventually noticed that the more ritualistic I became, the less observant my oppositional husband became. The joke, I decided to be less observanct to improve his observance. Worked.) I do observe Shabbat and that lets me walk strawberry fields once a week. I have split my Shabbat into Friday night when tradition prevails–best meal f the week, hopefully with family or friends, no computer, telephone, tv, radio, shopping, work–even the dishes wait for morning. Makes a decidedly different night. Saturdays my David always goes to shul. With my hearing loss, I rarely go, but have a quiet day at home, not internet, tv or radio connected, but often calling distant friends on the phone, reading, doing only the writing my heart wants–for example: making Remember Your Family pages for my kids and grand-kids scrapbooks, walking the nature paths that abound here. I think of it as a day for me and to do only what I want to do. I must still fight the obsessiveness of my work-alcoholicism, but as the sunsets and I re-connect with the world, I am renewed. Too bad we don’t close everything down across the world for at least a few hours or better yet once a day, so all would reflect on what really mattered or perhaps just take a two hour nap. that might even contribute to peace in our times. Thank you for this post. Sharing it on Facebooks.

  3. David Diana  April 26, 2011

    Thanks for the encouraging words Dan!

  4. David Diana  April 26, 2011


    I appreciate your willingness to share. I enjoyed learning more about you.


  5. Jeffrey Nigro  April 26, 2011

    David – On a day when I had cancellations and saw two people (and grateful for them!) I gave myself permission to hang out with a friend and eat good food and laugh. Suffice to say it felt so great to “put the hammer down” , i.e., forget about what “needs” to be done since we all know for those of us making a go on our own THERE WILL ALWAYS BE MORE TO DO, and just LAUGH instead…even as I mowed grass into the darkness and planted some things by flashlight I realized these are the things I like doing so even what could have been a chore became a joy. As always thanks for the validation!

  6. Fred in Dallas  April 27, 2011

    This is such an important reality that far too many forget, or never learn. We all need to remember that a job or career is a means, not an end in itself. I recently read a wonderful piece of advice: first decide on the the life you want to live – your relationships, family, health, generosity (expression of love and service), and spirituality. Establish that vision in your heart and mind … THEN the right career, with the right income, and that requires the right amount of time and attention will appear. To me, this is the essence of vocation (from vocare – a call); it’s not about a job, career or esteem … it’s about a good life we’re called, and given the opportunity to live. That life includes strawberry fields!

  7. David  April 27, 2011

    Anytime Jeffrey! Thanks for your input and inspiration. It helps me immensely.

  8. David  April 27, 2011

    It is so very easy to forget Fred. recent events in my life have pushed me over the edge, and I am finding it has been a true gift and an eye opening/expansive experience.

  9. Marsha Kite  April 27, 2011

    I was asked, recently, how I took care of myself and kept life in balance. I smiled, thinking of the struggle I have between taking the time to nurture my body and spirit or being “productive.”
    Because I approach counseling from a whole-body perspective–and I counsel the importance of good food, physical activity, and time to “stop and smell the roses”–I am faced with a dilemma. Do I practice what I preach or am I a hypocrite? And that is the kicker for me! Despite my feelings of resistance, I take the time, and everyone benefits.
    How blessed you are, David to have those little angels to coax you out to play!

  10. David Diana  April 27, 2011

    I’ve always enjoyed the balance you bring. Your approach is refreshing and so very needed Marsha.

    And yes…those two boys send me on all kinds of journeys. Thank God for them!

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