December 10, 2023

Inner Peace: June’s full moon — the Full Strawberry Moon

June 14, 2022

Messages from ‘the poet laureate of the moon’

By Sally McKirgan

The June full moon, known as the Full Strawberry Moon, is considered the sweetest full moon of the year. It marks the strawberry harvesting season in North America. The Algonquin tribes recognized it as a sign that wild strawberries were starting to ripen and ready for the harvest. In Europe, it is known as the Honey Moon or Hot Moon, signifying the beginning of hot summer days, or Hay Moon, because of the first hay harvest.

Two poems by James Dillet Freeman, sometimes known as “the poet laureate of the moon,” reside on the moon. “I am There” was taken by Astronaut James B. Irwin in 1971, and “Prayer for Protection” was taken by Lunar Commander “Buzz” Aldrin in July 1969. Here are Freeman’s poems:

I Am There

Do you need Me?

I am there.

You cannot see Me, yet I am the light you see by.

You cannot hear Me, yet I speak through your voice.

You cannot feel Me, yet I am the power at work in your hands.

I am at work, though you do not understand My ways.

I am at work, though you do not recognize My works.

I am not strange visions. I am not mysteries.

Only in absolute stillness, beyond self, can you know Me as I am, 

and then but as a feeling and a faith.

Yet I am there. Yet I hear. Yet I answer.

When you need Me, I am there.

Even if you deny Me, I am there.

Even when you feel most alone, I am there.

Even in your fears, I am there.

Even in your pain, I am there.

I am there when you pray and when you do not pray.

I am in you, and you are in Me.

Only in your mind can you feel separate from Me, for only in your mind are the mists of “yours” and “mine.”

Yet only with your mind can you know Me and experience Me.

Empty your heart of empty fears.

When you get yourself out of the way, I am there.

You can of yourself do nothing, but I can do all.

And I am in all.

Though you may not see the good, good is there, for I am there.

I am there because I have to be, because I am.

Only in Me does the world have meaning; only out of Me does the world take form; only because of Me does the world go forward.

I am the law on which the movement of the stars and the growth of living cells are founded.

I am the love that is the law’s fulfilling. I am assurance. I am peace. I am oneness. I am the law that you can live by. I am the love that you can cling to. I am your assurance. 

I am your peace. I am one with you. I am.

Though you fail to find Me, I do not fail you.

Though your faith in Me is unsure, My faith in you never wavers, because I know you, 

because I love you. Beloved, I am there.

The Prayer of Protection

The light of God surrounds us;

The love of God enfolds us;

The power of God protects us;

The presence of God watches over us;

Wherever we are, God is!

When the next full moon comes, I hope you will join me in thanking astronauts Aldrin and Irwin for taking Freeman’s poems so that they can watch over and comfort us earthlings. 

We all need comforting these days with divisions — left, right, up, down, over, under — driving us crazy if we let them. Let’s all see the beauty and forget everything else, because life is short and precious — hug everyone, with your mask on if you want. If you don’t want to hug them, then decide to not label them. That’s the inner peace option.

Sally McKirgan currently resides in Olympia, Washington, is formerly of Ashland, which she misses greatly. She has had time to gather her Tidings inner peace essays into a book, soon to be published, and her paintings are posted on Send 600- to 700-word articles on all aspects of inner peace to Richard Carey (

Bert Etling

Bert Etling

Bert Etling is the executive editor of Email him at

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