Yesterday I made the second ritual burn of spring. For me, these fires honor the season in spiritually practical ways, as it transforms so much of the brush and fallen limbs of seasons past into lovely alkaline ash that will add renewed value to the compost and gardens throughout this season and those that follow. The Boy and I broke and chopped the larger pieces of brush to add to the fire. As we made a dent and removed a good section of brush from under the cedar I discovered - with foolishly joyful glee - the nettles up and greening away!
I also worked in the gardens, cleaning up beds, transplanting some garlic that ended up being in what will be a path this year. I had to shift a couple beds and paths because there's Hypericum perforatum (St. Joan's wort, or John if you prefer) that established itself in a path that I will leave exactly where She wants to be. I harvested some dandelion and baby garlic chives too. All this and brush collecting-n-busting and fire tending over several hours proved to be a bit too much for me.
By the end of the day there was a fire burning in my lower back as hot as the one that burned in the fire pit. I already had a small bottle of Hypericum tincture ready, for it's an ally to me every spring as I ease back into more energetic physical work. I had allowed myself a couple droppers before going out as a preventative to potential muscle ache. Last night I continued the droppers along with a little Salix alba (white willow back) tea, and hot and cold treatments. The Hypericum bottle was at my bedside, but I slept through the night without waking.
This morning I woke sore and stiff, but not nearly as extreme as one might expect. The fire in my back had burned down and only a few coals lingered. So today I made space for rest and gentle stretches, hot and cold treatments, tea and more green love. Especially Hypericum.
And through this fiery challenge I realize how pleased I am to leave the ol' willful girl of summer's power right where she is in the garden. It's what she wants and deserves. Me too.