Yesterday in the later afternoon I got a text from J. who was elsewhere in the house or yard. He said it was going to start raining in about an hour and a half and was predicted to keep going for four days. That's how I wound up in the way-back machine of my searching for the specific lede pic today. Am glad for the rain since we had so little snow. The more rain inches we can soak into the ground the better it will be once micro-droughts define themselves. But perpetual low-light will not make for compelling blog documentation.
Am currently putting together a super concrete - you need these things and then you do these specific steps - type of How to Make a Flower Essence post. Once it's published this will link back to all the posts that are previously filed under that category. The pragmatic how-to post is meant to be amplified by all those other posts in both direct content and more deep-reading between the lines. So far as I can tell, anyone who openly shares something authentic about themselves in relation to this blog has quite an adept feeling for their organic landscape and its specific spirit(s) of place. Not to mention a special affinity for many of the plants and trees that grow there.
All such affinity is, in effect, an integral part of how-to make/co-create an essence. This type of high-crisis moment - at a nuts and bolts level - is an awesome time for anyone who wants to participate in healing themselves, their environments, and their own growing spaces to actively dosomething that crystallizes the spark in their heart's dreams and healing wishes for All That Is on our beautiful and increasingly broken-apart home here on earth.
Above is a blended-flower bowl that yielded a wonderfully comprehensive remedy called Mellow Yellow. The essence came to life on the hillside where I kept a plot specifically devoted to raising flowers I wished to prepare as flower essence mother stocks. If you follow the link you'll land on one of the first posts I made here. You'll see a picture of me from '05 looking equally content and determined. Same pitchfork but now I wear shoes with hard shells like a sensible person. Or wait to do whatever until I am wearing them.
for the curious and knowledgeable alike - here's a thumbnail synopsis of the bowl's contents.
Broccoli - Scours the psyche in a way that allows us to see how/when/why we interpret the actions of others as personalized victimization. Offers psychic and emotional fortitude to deal with that skew IF we've a mind to.
Marigold - Very supportive of neural circuitry and its vibrancy level. This essence - in whatever form of flower variety and color - has been indispensable in essence combinations that are geared to supporting integration with the larger/higher/faster frequency that so many of us tend to 'catch' even if we keep our awareness of it deliberately small or convince ourselves it's merely wish fulfillment or Nothing At All.
Nasturtium - boosts the circuitry of the electrical body. A boon for those who tend to fade somewhere between the 6th and 8th inning stretch of any given day.
Pumpkin - Helps support our subtle and physical bodies' need to galvanize under duress/situations focused on The Choice of No Choice. Helps you locate whatever you need energetically to do whatever it takes mentally & physically in order to bring a necessary project to a timely conclusion.
Snapdragon - to smooth the bite in your communicative style if you've normally got one. To help you keep from developing such bite under duress - especially when thrown into a situation where you personally have little to no control and it angers you.
Vatican Tomato - Tomato's healing signature addresses situations in which we've actively allowed patterns of self-sabotage to become normalized behavior to you.
Moon and Stars Watermelon - psychic birthing & midwifery to support life's expansive changes and creative hot streaks. Times two thanks to the above contributor.
Yellow Wood Sorrel - hydrates physical and emotional burnout associated with hypersensitivity.
Zucchini - supports kinder & gentler self-care initiation than we generally allow ourselves.
The above packets hold the remainder of the other seeds I've started under lights in the basement - rattling all the way. Lincoln leeks and basket flowers are regular must-grows for me. African foxgloves are fairly well known to me in their purple form. They've grown with a gorgeously prolific branching pattern on various parts of the property but never taller than 3 - 3.5 feet. Am trying the white variety because they reach 5 -6 feet when they're happy. Was thinking I'd inter-plant with Indigo Spires salvia here and there within the Evolving Sanctuary bed. I really love gracefully architectural combos that intermix white and blue flowering plants - arranged in a visual chain that stays embedded in the mind's eye most vividly right before dusk. This I learned from a wonderful garden design book called Color Echoes in the Garden.
One day about a month ago an early morning dream spirit advised I grow Sweet Thai basil rather than my favored cinnamon variety. The latter has been indispensable for decades as our family dinner iced beverage of choice during the summer months. Couldn't find any on offer at any of my preferred seed sources when I finally ordered. So that turned out to be an on-point lucid swerve from the Beyond. Never heard of this bergamot variety before. It's capable of reaching maturity in a single season in this hardiness zone range. If it doesn't then I won't see what the flowers are like in relation to our bee, butterfly, hawkmoth and hummingbird contingents. Not unless I can figure out how to successfully winter it over somewhere in the garage ...
One thing I'll always love about photography is the way it clarifies how things look when the person seeing hasn't grown so accustomed to the particular view that they forget what seeing them differently used to feel like. Since this week's water meditation is once again focused on the little stream that cuts through the edge of our property - I'm quite used to crossing the bridge in order to literally see things differently. Yet when I edited images for this post I was struck by what a different view that seven or eight foot span, bank to bank, affords. The bank on the far side of the bridge is higher by 3-5 feet. Tree roots and the bridge's placement don't obscure the beautifully clear scope of the water's modest breadth.
On top of the many other things to be done I need to rip out the encroaching periwinkle. It's everywhere here. So is pachysandra. The duo is an environmental pairing from hell and all too common blighted mis-step from mid to late 1970's landscape design. The house (circa 76) and extension (93) can be/has been easily enough retrofitted for today's more mindful geo-footprint but the escaped colonies of this pair that can be found throughout the woods and property lines, as well as running rampant in a liminal range between the dooryards and the field, are a problem we solve a lot more slowly than the plants thrive undeterred.
However. Due to our odd winter the pachysandra colonies in the woods and encroaching the field are in bud. They could flower in under a month - right about the time the bumblebee queens emerge to feed exhaustively or die mid-flight in search of food. It's the only upside I have found so far - the early blooming colony/blankets keeping the bumblebee population on point
I'd come to the water because I'm doing what I can to shed or at least dismantle as much of my own human/media-driven fear factor(s) as possible. There's politics, certainly. But more as a plant reader/herbalist-ish person, I've found It's been disconcerting as well as intellectually interesting to see the way my survivalist/preparedness buttons get pushed by what's in the news - and far more pressingly what is NOT in the news, at least here in the US, concerning coronavirus. I said more on the subject and deleted.
My intentional point is that I always come here and stand on the stream's opposite bank when I'm seeking a perception change. A friend of mine calls this kind of move sympathetic yoga. Same basic premise as sympathetic magic but more about shifting the specifics of muscle memory/psychic elevation than direct energy transmutation. In this case, I released the pent-up energy of a few what-ifs asked in gentle recognition that I and most of the other earth-loving people I know are strong on multiple levels. Self-sustaining in ways that always seem enhanced by a desire to be joyful. To look at what hasn't changed within the resources and wisdom of nature close at hand.
My feet were enjoying a new and vastly improved perspective as well. After noticing how often the posts here feature me fretting over insufficient footwear I thought I ought to change that dynamic while I'm able. Have begun my Year of Proper Shoes with a pair of very thick vibram soled waterproof shoes for walking in our woods, on local trails and while gardening. One pair down, two to go. Will whittle that down to just one if budget demands - I have never had decent hiking boots. And yet. I haven't just sauntered in the woods. I have ... hiked - a moderately fair amount. Just never in proper shoes because - well. Because I've spent so much of my adult/responsible life worrying about getting/staying sick. To a degree where maybe splurging in this way would be a waste and thus irresponsibly self-indulgent.
It's ridiculous - at least in light of today's world. I intend, given the opportunity, to live long and well enough by my own definition that I wear them down to flaps of ragged leather bursting from their seams. Thinking such thoughts I walked all over in the muddy goo with the cat jumping lightly from rocks to tree roots. For awhile after we first entered the woods my eyes misplaced her. In a previous part of her life she was named ghost. Sometimes it seems apt to her form if not her personality.
When I took this picture we were right on the verge of the swampier place that we leave to wild creatures. It abuts a part of the woods and stream's path where I don't go more than once a season. I really like J. to have it as a form of personal space the way the field gardens have become my ramshackle green nation kingdom-come-true.
Mama and I end most of our off-season woods visits via the path by the old well. This is a powerful sacred-feeling place of unknown origin/human history. Many different animals call it Home as do a whole colony of trees. The path pre-existed our arrival - in large part as a game trail that services every larger creature from turkeys to deer and coyote. In the green months none of us use this path or those spidering out from it. We only move along the paths close to the utility buildings and compost bin. Early spring and later autumn offer the rare opportunity for exploration that isn't intrusive. An enormous hare lives back here somewhere. Also woodchucks and innumerable small rodent species. Speaking of the field gardens - I spent a long time prowling around the various cultivated and wild corridors of the beds. I saw in my mind's eye how the garden might be improved by clearing more of the space claimed by goldenrod. I want to enlarge the growing space to the left of the edges in this pic - a long narrow strip of an enlargement beginning just a bit left of the whiskey barrels at both end of the bed. I want this strip to combine calendula, tomatoes and sunflowers. See how that works. Maybe also consider a perpendicular strip where the bench currently sits. Create from it a raised bed for root vegetables. In the past I've used the whiskey barrels but want to give them over to restorative tea herbs exclusively from this point forward.
Formulating these plans yesterday, and mentally embellishing them just now in my mind's eye, I sense a resilience that's very well-known to gardeners. I'm deeply concerned by how early in the year the earth is waking herself but I'm also wondering how to make the smartest and wisest adaptation to this kind of shift. For we humans, sure, but also for everything else that lives here. When I stood in the garden and visualized its enlargement I had a sense of confidence this was a wise use of my brain's time and space.
Providence willing, as they say ...
another happy grace note of our mild winter is the alive and thriving condition of a lemon thyme that was stranded on the lower deck for the winter after our late October cold snap froze it solidly in place. I brought in a few tiny sprigs and a couple precious deep green lemon balm leaves for some fresh green rejuvenative tea.