My partner and I recently made an agreement about being more present. We have a good life and we love each other. We agreed to get comfortable, enjoy what we have now and worry less about how we're going to get to the next big phase in our lives. Will we still hold our future-dreams in our hearts? Yes. Will we work towards them? Yes, but by being present. Our future grows from the seeds we plant now, but the seeds can't grow if we're not here to tend them day by day. We made this agreement after spending a day in the arboretum, which, by the way, is a tree garden you guys. TREE GARDEN! A garden of trees!! (I have a special feeling for trees, they're my gods, but that's probably a story for another day.)
Anyway, the arboretum. Beautiful! Filled with trees and bushes and birds and worms and flowers and mud and mushrooms and every good thing. As we left the tree garden and walked back into the human-made world we realized how good we had felt while we were in there, insulated by nature. We're both anxiety prone people, so deep ease and relaxation are profound and sought-after states for us. While we were there I was present in a way that I'm usually not. My mind was clear and quiet. My heart was light and free to move. My breath was easy and deep. My responsibilities were still there but they didn't stick or hold me down. We bathe in the energy of everything around us and we were bathing in the energy of all those plants and wild-things. In the energy of the air and the earth even. The clattering wheel of human energy was gone and we were left to soak in the good vibes radiating from all those plants.
We've been having a fair spat of spring-ish weather that has me just beginning to crave fresh greens again after a winter of cooked, cooked, cooked, and more cooked foods. My body has a strong opinion of when I should and shouldn't be eating raw foods. Heavy on the fresh salads all spring through summer but as fall approaches I start to get that (somewhat child-like) one-more-salad-and-I'll-barf attitude. It's usually a few of my favorite herbs that start the new year up again - as I walk about town I see the chickweed that has been flourishing in our crisp but mild winter weather, little dandelion crowns are just starting to appear here and there, and even the arugula and mustard greens in my abandoned garden bed are looking peppy and edible once again.
Sweet, mild, juicy chickweed (Stellaria media) is an easy herb to find all winter long in our region. It takes off in the cool crispness of fall and winter, growing in pillowy patches out of direct and prolonged sunlight. In the grass underneath lone-standing trees, against the North and East sides of buildings, anywhere regularly shaded with good air flow and clear ground. She is a lady who likes to preserve her complexion (and moisture) by keeping out of the sun.
Dandelion, sweet rascally dandelion (Taraxacum officinale). The little baby crowns are just so damn cute. I love dandelion all year round (she is perhaps my best herb friend), but this is the time to harvest her if you want greens for eating fresh, as the young spring leaves are less bitter than any other time of year. You know where to find dandelion, she's never very far from us. Choose crowns that look appetizing, vibrant green, tender flesh, free of blemishes. Toothy and sassy.
magic + ritual
Magic and Ritual - what are those? Magic and ritual sound pretty far out, and they are, but they're also really practical. Ritual is the bringing of purpose and intention to regular action. I use ritual to create unique personal structures that facilitate growth and stability. Well crafted rituals help me be a version of myself I'm proud of. Magic is what happens when we do our rituals well. Magic is nourishment.