the language of flowers
Oh, rain! What a lark!
Rainy days...oh they are the best, are they not? I am such a creature of the wild thunderstorm. That burst of negative ions--zinging around, filling the air and our spirits with a tonic of pure happiness. Currently, we are traveling a sort of dizzying, switchback path of thunderstorm/sunshine that is a balm to the every-soul. All those rich, positive ions in the sunshine and breeze, dancing along between storms. Nature is such a ridiculous showoff!
But rainy days? They are the best days to cultivate herbs. A variety of reasons make this so--the pureness of the sky quenching plants has them as happy as they every are, so their harvest at this time makes for such good energy deep in it's stems...never mind that I am snuffing it's life out with my clippers....but still! I believe in the good energy of good timing.
Secondly, if I am harvesting during the rain--as I did today--then I also have such a childish joy clipping my heels. Not only is nature, itself, putting on a display, but I am a part of it as well: dashing between raindrops, the elements claiming me as a part of the joy: my very self, of earth and bone. I am nature as well on days like these, and I like that reminder. It is both freeing and humbling.
And lastly, in the patter and splash of my poorly constructed and overflowing gutter, I can wash these herbs clean of their allergens and any other creatures hiding among the leaves. Clean water. Fresh water. Tumbling down--that shock of water sluicing over hands...is it not one of the purest sensations?
But today. Today, I woke up wanting to try my hand at something new. The rain? Simply a boon on top of my already excellently planned day.
You see, I have long grown all kinds of herbs because of their value to me in the garden and in the kitchen. So many things, lemongrass, lavender, lemon balm, sage etc. Many, many of them. And every year in the fall, I harvest them, dry them, then use them to make my Herbal Facial Steam, a magnificent little product that only comes around once a year.
But, lately, as I shop farmers markets, I have seen something new I want to try. Something called "Smudge Bundles". My belief in the ancient and modern power of all things nature is well supported, and I want to get my hands on this new thing.
Smudge bundles are an age-old form of anointing a new space with good energy, much the same as a blessing, a cross over a door, or holy water. And burning incense, ashes, candles has a place in every culture and creed as a way to symbolize good spirit. And, like thunderstorms release negative ions and change the composition of the air, thereby raising our spirits--so does burning sage and other dried herbs. In addition to any spirituality, there is an actual science behind it.
Above all that, I also am a sucker for the language of flowers. In my bundles, which I have wrapped in an rope twine and lemongrass stalks, I have incorporated:
Sage: woody and sweet scent; used for blessing and healing, promotes balance and strength
Lavender: promotes peace of mind, relaxation and happiness
Rosemary: clears the mind and relieves stress; also removes negative energy around people and in places
Peppermint: refreshing and soothing
Roman Chamomile: promotes happiness and comfort
Thyme: removes mind-blocks, obstacles and works as a memory booster
Sweet Alyssum: a serene, spiritual plant; provides emotional balance; protection
Lemongrass: cleansing, refreshments: helps energize and improve focus
These bundles? I am not at all sure if they will work. The people in my neighboring canopy at the market promise they do. And I don’t mean the metaphysics of it--I mean the actual physics of it. Will it dry out correctly? Will it smolder when lit? Who knows?
I have made a terrific mess on the kitchen floor and I am not at all sure my cat, Gracie, wants to do this every day of our lives, or never again. But, I have learned something new today. I have tinkered the whole day away (my favorite). I have worked with the fruit of my labors--surely, the most blessed of all heart-rich feelings. What we will learn next remains to be seen.
"Look deep into nature and you will understand everything better." ~Albert Einstein