Google+ What I Made Today: 2021

Monday, November 1, 2021

November Arrives...

... and with it, the new year. While the pace of the season relaxes, there's still plenty in the gardens to enjoy, harvest, preserve, and plant in this new year. Heck, we harvested four cucumbers from the last of the cuc plants just three days ago. That was a first; cucumbers at the end of October. ::nods:: Alongside our cold hardy plants there's still zucchini offering fruit despite the increasing chill. Zucchini in November. It's concerning, yet I'm grateful. And I'll be harvesting it today, since killing frosts may be upon us this week. These first couple of November days will overflow with urgency as I harvest all that cares not for freezing; the zucchini, celery, celeriac, lovage, thai basil, holy basil, tobacco, grindelia, calendula, probably the turnip 'n' rutabaga too will find a home indoors to sustain us with their nutrition 'n' Medicine in the months ahead. Later, before snow 'r extreme cold, we'll collect the last of the cabbage, kale, collards, choys, mustard 'n' radish greens, and dig up some horseradish after some frosts, but before the soil freezes solid. 

It's a season ripe with hellos  'n' goodbyes.

Every year, at this time (which varies in the linear measure), when the first true frosts hit I exhale a sigh of sadness, relief 'n' gratitude. It's so fitting to this melancholy 'n' mournful season of honor 'n' celebration.

I feel Earth, Nona Gaia, asking me - and all of us - to slow down, as she does every year at this time when autumn leans in. Yet this year I feel a distinct sense of urgency. It's disquieting to me, as opposed opposites tend to be... ripe with antithetical verve... verve that demands my attention (and yours) as we sink into the darkening arms of deep autumn.

I invite you to slow down (if only for a moment) to make time 'n' space to join me, to sink into some quiet 'n' stillness where you can perceive what's real 'n' true, good 'n' right, for all our kin... past, present, 'n' future. 

Peace. 🕊

Saturday, July 31, 2021

A Spark

This was the scene a year ago today. A farewell blessing to a physical space. A space that had 'n' held such amazing spirit. A space that transformed to pure verve... a verve that wafts in the ethers, a verve that is carried, still, in my heart, and in the hearts of others, a verve that keeps us connected.

I don't miss this physical space. What I do miss is the vibrant, light-filled spark that was born there of many an exchange, individual and collective... a spark rooted in relationship 'n' reciprocity, a spark that burns still. 

And I'm feeling grateful. So grateful.

Peace. 🕊

Friday, July 9, 2021

Arachnid 'n' Halley


I've been experiencing enormous comfort from these insistent rains, and in working in the officina (apothecary, if you prefer) these past couple/few days. Yesterday I was able to both harvest carrots and plant carrot seeds; a medicinal metaphor of meaning if ever there was one. Catching up on tasks 'n' communications that had been forfeited over the days prior, sorting through DPM (dry plant matter), especially the powders, to see what stays 'n' goes, making plans for students 'n' workshops all served to offer meaningful focus through which I was able to harmonize needed function with necessary sobbing. It's been a time of grieving, mourning, and healing, to say the least.

I'm still stunned at the expanse of this loss; the feeling in my chest - my heart - is palpable. Tears well up without warning, and fall like the rains. 

I've been working with Arachnid since Tuesday to hold my fractured heart open, yet together without breaking apart, as I grieve. She's woven a strapping 'n' silky-soft web around my heart, with the shattered pieces held open 'n' in place as I feel the feels that must be felt. When the time is ripe, she will assist me in mending the shards together with gold. 

I'm mightily blessed to Know and have relationship with Arachnid, a personal ally since the mid-1990s. Consciously, that is... I'm confident that the relationship is much, much older. She is, in my experience, never demanding. She shows up at will - her will - with unmistakable messages when I need them; I mean, you tell me that a spider bite on your butt doesn't speak with clarity. She responds without hesitation or judgement to my calls for support. She responded to my call to weave support around sweet Halley's backside on her final day with us. Between her loving fibers holding my heart - and me - together without falling hopelessly apart, and beloved Anubis holding Halley in her final day with us (more on that later), I feel grateful beyond grateful. 

It is a mighty comfort to have blessed Arachnid holding my heart, my life, my love, right now. I am beyond grateful for her blessings.

Peace. 🕊

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Gods, I Loved Her.

I wake today to a space that is forever changed. It is void of a 70 pound loving presence that I shall infinitely miss. Yesterday, our beloved Halley Josephine moved from this realm to the big mystery. Gods, I loved her.

It all happened pretty fast. Which is a blessing. A month or two ago she began favoring her rear left leg. She was old, 14 years, and in being on the old trek myself, I chocked it up to years 'n' milage, and adjusted her medicinals. Despite her age, she always thought she was a puppy, and was filled with a cheekiness she'd express with dogged regularity. She'd jump like a lunatic when dinner was served al fresco, though not as high in recent days. She'd bark sass at her DaddyGuy when he didn't leash her up fast enough to get going on the walks she loved, be it around the neighborhood or around the little acre. In this vein, I could go on, and in saying that, there may well be more posts to honor her unselfish yet demanding spirit. Gods, I loved her.

About a week ago the favoring of the leg became more pronounced. She had jumped off the deck to run at and bark at a rabbit, so, again, I didn't make much of it, figuring it was a strain that would mend. Yet each day the favoring progressed. On the 3rd  of July I contacted a vet who specialized in at-home emergency and end of life care. She was out of state until the 6th, offered compassion, and options if we weren't able to hold out for the three days. So as the favoring and her hobble progressed, we did our best, as did she, to hold it together. I need to express that the fucking 4th of July bombing adorations didn't help any, and I was especially grateful for her passion flower 'n' chamomile CBD chews that night. We all went to bed early that evening, windows closed, fans running to muffle the loathsome explosions of neighbors near 'n' far. I spoke silently to Halley's spirit, prayed to Anubis 'n' others, as we all tossed 'n' turned with discomfort, occasionally switching on the soft light to see if she was trying to get up. Gods, I loved her.

The 6th came and with it a confirmation that Dr. Leah of Holistic Home Veterinary Services LLC was on her way. The waiting was pregnant with so many feelings, and in that time we did our best to comfort 'n' love our ol' girl. I can't even express depth 'n' width of my gratitude that we could do this at home, by her side, caressing her, whispering our love to her, with a vet of remarkable compassion. She was such a good girl. Gods, I loved her.

Today is hard. So hard. Overflowing with tears and gut wrenching sobs; smiles 'n' laughs, too. I'm nurturing the feelings, every one of them, for this little 70 pound bundle of attitude 'n' love gave us so much, and filled our little hut with more love than I realized. Gods, I loved her.

She will missed beyond measure. Gods, I loved her. We both did. So, so much.

Peace. 🕊

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Room for Forgiveness

two people in my life
one can change that
by coming clean
being honest with himself
with others
the other can not
her actions
can not be undone
her cruelty is fixed

Peace. 🕊

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Rhubarb, Rhubarb, Rhubarb.

It's been rhubarb week on the little acre, and every year 'round this time I’m on the lookout for new ways to preserve - and enjoy in its season - the rhubarb.

I’d never made fruit leather before this week. I figured it might be a nice way to preserve the rhubarb, so I gave it a go, and I can’t help but wonder why I’ve never made fruit leather before. This week I made a couple of batches for the pantry shelves, one simple with some lemon zest, and another with some of our homemade freezer wine (which, this tear, featured res raspberries and black currants from - yep~ - freezer). This mint is coming up, so the next batch might be a rhubarb mint. We shall see...

And to enjoy in the moment I made some deliciously tart rhubarb crisp that’s inspiring me to put vanilla ice cream on the shopping list… or maybe I’ll make some. ::nods:: In  the meantime, it's nice on its own, and with some kefir in a bowl to eat with a spoon. 

Peace. 🕊

Friday, May 14, 2021

Perpetual Spinach

This week we cut back our perpetual spinach. Perpetual spinach, also called beet spinach 'round these parts is actually a chard, and we’ve been harvesting it all spring to add to our salads. But it was time to cut it down, strip the tender leaves, give them a steam and a cold water plunge, before lightly straining and packaging it all into two pint containers for the freezer.

The stems were simmered with astragalus root, some bay leaves, and sea salt to create a stock to use for a risotto.

I bless my garden, it blesses me. I bless the earth, she blesses me. 

Peace. 🕊🌱🕊

Saturday, May 1, 2021

It's the Lusty Month of May

May Day arrives, cool, gusty, sunny, and with the promise of warming spring days, and still-expanding daylight. May Day arrives marking the lusty midpoint between spring and summer, and then some.

I love and appreciate all of the seasons, all of the holy days of Nature's wheel (which, to me, is every single day). Yet today I pause to observe my world - holistically - as we corral into the first day of the month we call May. I pause to renew my lusty passion to honor this warming earth, this compassionate mother, her sumptuous and ever-spiraling berth for seed, root, sprout, leaf, bud, bloom, blossom, fruit, and more - much more. As I pause to acknowledge my shortcomings and renew my vows, I offer her - and you - this prayer: May we venerate the undeniable greening and renewal that makes manifest in ways unlike any other spoke in the wheel of the year; may we hold sacred the miracle of life, with all its enchanting diversity; may we treat this earth and all life she supports better than we do today; may we practice the reciprocity that she - and all life - deserves.

May reminds us in very bold ways - if we're paying attention, that is - how much this earth, our Nona Gaia, loves life, is life. If only we would reciprocate... with lusty passion of intent and action. 


Monday, March 1, 2021

Well, Look at That: It's March

February, the last full month of winter, managed to live up to old, notable patterns by offering much-needed snowfall, and by taking its time. For me, those 28 days lingered, and I'm grateful for the time and space in which I immersed myself in some expansive (mostly) inner work. I appreciate the s...t...r...e...t...c...h of time in isolation, uninterrupted by social activities of days past. It was Medicine to me. Yet with March's arrival I'm still deep in unresolved hibernation work... and feeling ready to shift with the seasons. So ::shrugs:: I'll carry my unsettled work into the shift.

Isn't that always the way?

And it feels fitting. As seed-starting picks up a pace of need and urgency this month, I'll tap into the seasonal metaphors, connections, and erstwhile work that will support the evolution of February's immersion. The work that nourishes and sustains. The collaborative work with Nona Gaia.. The work of Life; mine, yours, ours. And - in multiple realities - I have more seeds, in volume and diversity, this year than I have - quite possibly - ever had. And that feels fitting too.

So, now, with spring's arrival within reach, let's get to work, shall we?


Friday, February 19, 2021

Things Un-welcomed and Cruel

Daddy watching over... in my officina.

Forty-six years.



And I still miss my daddy. 

I learned a lot this past year. Holistically. We all did, methinks, whether we're aware or not. And I learned some very personal, intimate, specific-to-me things too. Less than a year ago I learned things about relationships that I never knew. Things I was content - so content - not knowing. Things I had no interest in knowing. Things personal to me that were shared with others before they were shared with me. Things personal that were dropped on me without a shred of check-in. Things shared from a person and space of cruelty. Self aggrandizing cruelty toward others, dead and alive, as well as toward me. Things - so far, anyway - unforgivable. 

I learned of things un-welcomed and cruel. Things that have been a piece of my work this past year, work yet unfinished.

Things with which I wish I could chat with my daddy, and with my mom, too. And, sure, I chat with their spirits. My daddy's is quiet, as in silent. My mom's is, unsurprisingly, more vocal and validating. Anyhoo...

My daddy was a man of care and compassion, despite his Nixon-loyal-republican leanings. He was, methinks, a true gentleman, a man of his word, a man loyal to the oaths he carried. I say this having never known him in my adult years (whatever that means). So it's not just that I desire to chat with him, I long for an exchange, a true conversation with him. I'd really appreciate the opportunity to tap into his flavor of justice, justice potentially rooted in that care and compassion I mention. 

If you've followed this blog for any aggregate of time you'll likely know that I embrace living in the  mystery, real and imaginal, for lack of better phrasing. I love the nuance of life, and so much of my work - personal and collective - is rooted in that reality that I love - the mystery 'n' nuance - no matter how challenging or painful it might be exploring all the aspects of my landscape. In that landscape I do my best to pick up or roll over every rock to examine its entire perimeter, and then scratch 'n' dig in the space beneath to explore there as well. It's the kind of work that takes time and effort, and that doesn't offer definitive responses - or answers, if you prefer - from which to act. Rather, it's the kind of work that offers insight, perspective - wisdom, if you prefer - from which to make choices. 

I feel my daddy may have engaged in such work as this. Thus his capacity for care and compassion. My mom was more good/bad, right/wrong, often (though not always) lacking an openness for nuance. Thus her capacity for (what I might call) brisk judgement. And as the explorer of my landscape, I see value in "both" of these... approaches, practices, behaviors. And I possess "both." Yet prefer "one."

But I babble.

My desire to engage conversation with the spirit of my daddy rests in the desire to discuss with him these things un-welcomed and cruel. For his caring and compassionate perspective, to be sure, but also for the fact that he played a part in the story, and shared life with one who continues to be demonized by the storyteller. The un-welcomed and cruel storyteller who never even owned the story. The story likely rooted in some truth, but - clearly, without doubt or question - seasoned generously with lies, cruel and un-welcomed. It was never her story to tell. Still never. Always never. 

I sure wish I could share a whisky with the ol' boy now. To speak of things un-welcomed and cruel. Or to just tell him that I love him still. 


Monday, February 1, 2021

February, February, February...

I don't care what linear, logical, conventional measures of time say, February is the longest month of the calendar year. 

In the best of times, February can be immensely trying. Even in days BC (Before Covid-19), so many of us would feel the feels of longing 'n' loneliness. In days BC, when I was blessed with space in which community would gather, February was expressed by many as a lonely and challenging month. In those days it was a month when drop-in visits picked up, as well as scheduled sessions, not to mention the month when community gathers were consistently well attended. 

In my part of the world February is the final full month of winter. It is a month that many of us - consciously or not - sense the stirrings of spring, the green feelings within that long for the green stirrings without, like the alliums in our kitchens 'n' pantries; we feel something sprouting that has no ordinary earthy space yet to ground. It is a time that calls us to be imaginative, to create imaginal space for our February stirrings to settle 'n' root. 

This can be challenging even in times when we're able gather and share our February stories, green hugs, compassionate smiles. This year, as we - with healing in our hearts - continue to isolate, discourage discretionary gatherings, especially in indoor venues, and as we hide our smiles behind masks with 6+ feet between us, we face exceptional February challenges, like none in memory. I, for one, await days here in the damp, breezy chill of southern New England when an outdoor fire will offer enough comfort to invite a loved one or two to sit beside me, safely distanced, to share a cuppa, a simple meal, a visible smile... and to hear the healing music of collective laughter... quite possibly the shared Medicine I most miss.

Yet there's other shared Medicine that sustains me: The botanical Medicines of February, the mid-winter Medicines of Nona Gaia. This is the month in which the seed-starting dance picks up its tempo. And I am ready to dance with these familiar friends. So 
blanking ready. I could go on and on here, but instead I invite you to join the dance, especially if you've never danced this dance. Find a vessel, fill it with soil, and place a seed (or a few) within it. Water it, breathe into it, sing to it, and whisper your secrets to it. Dance with it. Tend to and care for that vessel and all it holds, and join forces - quite feminine - to nurture mystical life into ordinary manifestation. Life, that when reciprocal relationship sustains, offers bounty to nourish more - much more - than our bellies. Dance together. In February, and beyond. 

For me, this may just be the most sacred of Medicine that February offers. It is light in darkness. Always. And especially in these dark days we all share. Dance together. 


Thursday, January 14, 2021

This. Work.



Friday, January 1, 2021

This Thing We Call The New Year

To those of you who honor and celebrate the linear measure of calendar time: Happy new year! 

It is - indeed - an extended moment of collective recognition of the passage of time. That said, I do want to offer my gratitude to all who showed support to all things Walk in the Woods this past year. I appreciate you. So, so much. It was a year of transitions, transformations, and - dare I say - transmutations for me, and for many of us. And here we are in this year we call 2021... and we all have a lot 0f work to do. ::nods:: We always have, yet it feels as if time - complete with this "new year" focus - is of the essence, and it's time to step up, speak up, act up, or get... out of the way. 

And in this moment: That's all I got. ::grin::