mother's day plus 3?

I have found it difficult to focus lately. For whatever reasons, it's been hard to really consolidate my thoughts and desires. I have sort of been floating along this spring which is very shortly summer.

Mike and I are living in our cabin, now, behind our friends', the Berrys', home. It's a beautiful place that Mike built, looks like a bird house with 3 large, double-pained, sliding glass windows framed into the south/front wall and framed screen above that for the seven feet to the peak. I should have some photos soon on the flickr. It's been raining almost every day now for 2 weeks. The 1000 gal rain barrels Jason hooked up a few weeks ago have been filled, and one was emptied and re-filled from just the rain falling down the gutters. It's been interesting trying to fit in garden time between all the rain.

We went to Linville Gorge and Falls yesterday. We climbed out on jutting rocks and took photos of the falls which is so intense! It's a big, powerful waterfall between giant rocky cliffs with rhododendrons and mountain laurel azaleas growing and blooming all up and down them. Also, as it's a difficult place to log down in and around a gorge, there're giant old-growth, virgin hemlocks, with an incredible style and grace among the pines. They are like redwoods, maybe, on a less grand scale, but gave me a similar impression, staring up high with my head thrown all the way back just to see the canopy of these majestic and dying trees. I wonder what it would look like if these hemlocks where not like ghostly skeletons so much as full grown, Christmas-y trees that you could stand under during rain showers and not get wet. In any case, the gorge and falls and hike are all fantastic, so many incredible rocks to see and climb on out in the river. I left feeling fully oxygenated and peaceful. Even the hour long ride was good up and down the Blue Ridge Pkwy with so many blooming wild purple irises and huge pink and red (and even salmon colored) flowers on the trilliums, with white apple-like blooms under all the may-apples and more of those blooming mountain azaleas, with the occasional orange and red azaleas around people's homes.

The Appalachian bounty persists here, where the apples have finished blooming, the peaches are forming little fruits, the cherries are getting pruned, the poplars have to be close to making blooms for all the bees to freak out on, and I am just trying to make brain space for everything that is happening here with people, events, birthdays, different cities, Mike leaving and car going, food stamps and food gathering, co-housing and house responsibilities, moving into the cabin and cooking in the shop, etcetera. I'm trying to just take it all as it comes, but I fear I have certainly been putting things off in an effort to adjust. Fortunately, at least I have continued to water the little baby plants through all this rain and extra tilling, and with Mike finally leaving tomorrow I think I can focus enough to get most of them in the ground during this partly-cloudy week. Hopefully I won't get too drawn into herbal stuff before the plants and planting can get taken care of! We still have lots of organizational issues to sort, too, but I think everything is coming along. I moved 6 blueberry bushes from Steph's garden to a newly tilled berry patch, but the goats eat them while pasturing on the weeds. Gotta figure that out, and I have a bunch of elderberry cuttings I keep putting off putting in the ground.

Katie and I went out the other day and filled the back seat of her car with foraged goods. We harvested pedicularis canadensis, or lousewort or wood betony, over by Mountain Gardens and a bunch of black birch for beverages/tea from a tree that had just fallen at a slightly higher elevation than here, so it was just budding leaves. We de-barked all the birch, and it's about dry by now, and the pedicularis was particularly good yesterday after steeping in a mason jar for 4 hours with boiling water and after our hike- it calmed and soothed tremendously with its nervine sedative actions. We also filled a giant basket with nettle tops from the Celo community garden's giant patches, as well as a bunch of flowering ground ivy, which I've read is good for stagnant chest coughs (much needed by me), as well as some cleavers that Katie put in apple cider vinegar- it's a lymphogogue, and I just love them for unknown reasons, maybe because they grab your hands while you're harvesting. :) We also picked up a ton of violet leaves and mugwort, atemesia vulgaris, the common plant of Artemis, the wild moon goddess. Violet leaves are particularly good for breasts, also, being very demulcent, moist, gooey, and tasty.

Because I'm decidedly incapable at this time of calling or emailing folks and family, I want to say I love you, I most likely think of you often, I love my mom and am so glad she's going to see someone who can help her care for her beautiful and previously so capable body so that her incredible soul can go on getting healthier and happier. !! My niece will be either 13 or 14 this week, on the same day as my friend Stephanie who lives here with me, and I'll be celebrating them both with my heart and good thoughts. It's quite interesting, too, because Stephanie and I are both rats in Chinese astrology, I'm a rat in the next cycle after her, and Karis is a rat in the cycle after me, we are all 12 years apart! It's cool to me, I guess. My sister I hear is moving into a house, which is bad-ass. Please email me about that and the garden. My brothers I think of often, and maybe I'll get to see them this summer if I'm able to go visit my friend, Badger, in Nantucket. Badger! Springfield friends and family, you are certainly in my thoughts, and Mike is coming soon with his part of my heart to be shared, and maybe some birch bark, too! :D

One more think, I'm imagining going to herb school in Asheville next year for full-time work-trade at the all-outdoor, changing teacher, awesome herb school Katie is going to this year. She's thinking about being a full-time paid intern next year in her teacher's herb nursery, and that sounds so great. I'm thinking it. I'm also thinking I'll probably go to the SE Women's Herbal Conference this year, special guest Susun Weed, also work-trading. I went to the conference a year and a half ago to vend for Joe, since it's a women's only weekend, and it was incredible. All these women just being women and learning and being open and compassionate and doing silly things en masse! I want my sister Angie to go with me this year. :)

with l o v e,

1 comment:

D. Lollard said...

Ground ivy and cleavers? We have those! Sounds like it's time to harvest some weeds.

Thanks for the update and love from all of us!