love is health
Out in the garden here, everybody is finally, completely, spent. the frost took every last standing lettuce, fennel stalk, and comfrey leaf trying for one last hoorah. the 8 foot tall tobacco - who up till now has been unimpressed by the cold - took her leave back into the earth, no longer available to send prayers up to the ethers. her perennial roots have taken her attention, and her leaves and stalk are left like an old coat hung on a hook after the body has gone inside. I wonder at the depth of her departure, it's such a stark contrast to the aliveness I felt every time I passed by. no holding on, no trying to resurrect, just decisively empty. a beautiful husk of what was.
what if letting go could be like that for each of us, wholly complete? simply turning towards the black earth to absorb whatever grief is trapped in the heart, and taking refuge in the dark quiet. and with the turning inward, our root grows deeper into the depths, offering the promise of more stability and ease in growing again one day. I know we humans living in this part of the world like to celebrate with holiday after holiday this time of year, but the garden shows a different wisdom and rhythm...one I wonder about as I watch her dive under and drink in the nutrients of winter.
of course, there's gifts, left for us and the birds: persimmons hang like christmas balls, rose hips jump out of an otherwise grey landscape, acorns and bay nuts wait patiently for passersby. maybe that's why we celebrate this season with gift-giving, our mimicry of the plant world silently influencing each day. as martîn prechtel says, "the eloquence of our own affection for one another keeps the world healthy. Praise and the depth of our grief expressed for one another keeps the world in love. Love is health." May the love you give and receive this season feel as simple and exquisite as a persimmon glowing in the moonlight.
and some news...
Homestead Apothecary is now selling taproot medicine online, which means if you no longer live in the area they will ship it to you! They are brave, and have an ambitious team of folks ready to wrap the hell out of your bottles and make sure it gets to you. thank you nic!
Scarlet Sage Herb Shop in SF is now carrying all the Taproot Syrups. They have a knowledgable team of herbalistas working there to make sure you don't buy what you don't need. Pass the word if you are a city dweller or know others who cross the bay to get this medicine.
recipes for winter:
I've been making lots of apple crisps lately for my family, spiked with wellness syrup;) as a general guideline, I add 1T Wellness Syrup per apple (or pear) that's used. It sweetens it up a bit while giving each serving a good dose of reishi, elderberry, rose hips, nettles, the list goes on….I also like to sprinkle with reishi mycelium and cinnamon on top. give it a try and enjoy telling your kids it's "medicinal";)
heat up 1 cup of any kind of milk. when it starts to simmer/bubble, take it off the flame and add 2-3T stabilizing syrup. if you have a french press you can pour it in and pump the whisk part up and down until you get frothy goodness. stir with a cinnamon stick, and if you need to, add a touch of maple syrup. grounding dessert, yum!
If you are going to take the time, energy, and water to make a bath, please put some herbs in with you! Usually I tell people to look and see what they have around them growing. Pine? Oak? Lavender? Rose? Go with your gut, and pick something that calls out to you. If it has a smell, chances are it's got anti-bacterial properties and will help to open your lungs. Plantain, nettle, oats, seaweed; all super nutritive and grounding, and anything you get in warm water with will release it's gifts and take up yours. enjoy the communion.