I woke to snow this morning and by the time it started to subside the sun was making a valiant effort to peek through the lingering clouds and snowfall. It was serene … and somehow motivating. I lit two candles for a friend. I cut the calendula-tangerine-lavender soap I made the other day, and am once again pleased with the outcome. I made a quart of pickled eggs and worked on some herbal-based products I've been refining, and I cleaned up some files too.
I then made time to sit and doodle. I finished up a journal page I started on the first of November. I've been adding a little here, a little there over the past few months, but two days ago I honored the spirit of my father who passed from this life 36 years ago, and was inspired to fill and complete this Día de los Muertos page. Today, it is filled, with honor for the cycle of life, and with memories too.
Nature knows. Nature knows that resurrection is eternal. Nature knows that resurrection is ever present. Nature knows that resurrection preceded and will outlast any human concept of its truest meaning. Nature knows.
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Seems my Ugly Soap is getting prettier. Today I un-molded and sliced my latest batch of violet patchouli soap and was rather surprised at how nicely it looked and behaved.
Then I made some time to go outside to delight in the sparkling sunshine, to listen to the snow melt, and to be embraced by the warming thaw that released from its snowy grip a season-worn gift of humble might. It flitted on the breeze and landed at my feet.
I blended handcrafted herbal oils of viola leaf and calendula flower with my own rendered lard and some castor oil.
I blended the water into the oil.
I stirred and prayed. I stirred and offered song and blessings. I stirred in kaolin clay and essential oils of patchouli and carrot seed. I stirred in love and peace. And I stirred some more. And more. And more.
I poured this alchemical love into a mold, covered it with a towel and placed it in my healing room to rest, undisturbed for a day or two.
Then I took last month's soap, wrapped and labeled it, and tucked it away in my soap drawer where it will continue to cure and mellow for a couple more months before it is enjoyed in a cleansing ritual.
Before I cleaned up my paint and collage mess, I paused to doodle an image to capture a bit of the creative chaos.
Once it was tidied, I put the kettle on to boil and paused again to fill one side of the page with images of held inside my (grandmother's) breakfront. The kettle whistled and I opened the glass door to retrieve a teapot and cup to assist me with my next pause.
The robins have been back for a couple of weeks now. For the past eight years or so, they seem to be returning earlier and earlier. They bring with them the energy of new beginnings ... fresh and refreshed starts. In short, renewal.
This morning I spotted them dancing in the crabapple tree. It was a feast dance, for they were knocking down the old, dried apples and feeding on them with enthusiasm, a couple-few feet off the earth. I caught these images of them from my bedroom window, through two panes of glass and still had plenty of time to sit and enjoy their celebratory antics. It was a perfect start to my day.
And I feel renewal stirring in me … old dried verve shaking off to nourish some other entity … making room for revival.
That's what I made today.
Addendum: At second glance, I believe those last two photos are of a bluebird.
I've been recommitting myself to a drawing a day, even if it's a simple box, a squiggle or stick-figure, I give myself credit. In doing this I found myself leafing through a journal or two (or more) and discovered this drawing, done while I was housesitting last July and decided to put some color to it.