Thursday, March 26, 2009

An Irresistible Urge~

Image by: Arthur Rackham

"There is a herb, also, a fairy grass, called the Faud Shaughran, or the "stray sod,"and whoever treads the path it grows on is compelled by an irresistible impulse to travel on without stopping, all through the night, delirious and restless, over bog and mountain,through hedges and ditches, till wearied and bruised and cut, his garments torn, his hands bleeding, he finds himself in the morning twenty or thirty miles, perhaps, from his own home. And those who fall under this strange influence have all the time the sensation of flying and are utterly unable to pause or turn back or change their career."
~ Lady Francesca Speranza Wilde ( 1826-1896)

I don't know about you, but this is just how I feel when spring knocks on my door. When that glorious sun of ours lights the sky for longer each day and everything is alive with possibility. Instantly I find myself in constant motion without a desire for stopping. I am out there digging and planting, plotting and planning. And once I have begun, there is simply no turning back.

Today,I am out of bed after a bothersom little flu, ready to feel the sun on my face and the wind in my hair. Too many days indoors is a challenging thing for me.

To celebrate feeling better I put my peas in the earth, 2 inches down, 1 inch apart, just like mom taught me all those years ago. The robins chirped and the crows cawed their approval from the trees over head.

Image by: Arthur Rackham

Let the gardening begin I say. For gardening is a another kind of journey, an adventure of the best kind, full of surprises and challenges and wonder. It doesn't matter how well you think you've planned it, you never really know how it's all going to turn out, but isn't that the way all adventures are? And this never stops us from going, or in this case from getting our hands dirty. No gardener worries about dirt under fingernails, or torn trousers, or sore arms. In fact all these things are evidence of a job well done and when the first salad is on the table, well, there is no question, that this is a venture, of the most worthy kind.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Petals in the Morning~

I am someone in constant awe of Plant Spirit Medicine. As my garden begins to bloom, I am preparing to gather the magical elixirs offered by my petaled friends. Making healing flower essences is one of my joys. My gratitude for the wisdom here reaches to the stars and back again.

Just today, I was outside with the first spring beauties, gazing upon their dazzling blooms, my heart stirring with enthusiasm at the thought of discovering their healing properties. Standing there in the spring sun, I remembered that Dr. Edward Bach first discovered the homeopathic healing essences of flowers by licking the dew accumulated on flower petals at dawn. I have heard it told that Dr. Bach was not the first one to do this marvelous thing. That ingesting the dew on flower petals was a tradition the wise woman of the old world were very much aware of. That sending their patients out into dewy meadows at dawn, to lick the dew drops off flower petals, was a known medicinal practice.

All this is to say, that if you have never bent down to lick the dew off a flower petal, I highly recommend it.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Spring Equinox~

Spring Equinox 2009, March 20th,
Sunrise 7:03 am Sunset 7:12 Pm.

They say that the Spring Equinox is the festival of balance and awakening and alchemy. The magikal re-birth of the earth. The mingling of sun and rain. The time when opposite forces merge together in a divine act of transformation. The Alchemists call this merging, Conjunctio, meaning higher transformative union of two unlike substances. Like flint struck against stone to make fire, like sun and rain reaching down into the earth inviting green shoots and pink blossoms. On the day of the Equinox, day and night are of equal length. The sun and the moon spend the same amount of time glowing in the sky. It is indeed, a magikal time.

Gus(best canine friend) and I have plans to walk to down to the sea, to light candles and burn lavender and sage. To set our intentions for the next cycle and give thanks for the bountiful blessings that surround us. I might sing to the earth and the sky before we dash wildly through the green woods celebrating the return of life. Later we will join a dear friend for more singing, a fine cup of tea and some delicious food.

Sending Spring Blessings to you~
May the most wonderful things be sprouting in your life.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Sing a Song~

One thing that I have learned about myself is that a good ol' heartfelt song always helps me to feel better about the world. No matter what the circumstance, there is always a song fit for the occasion. Always a melody rising up out of my own human experience ready to work it's healing magic.

I sing in sadness and in happiness. I sing when my heart is broken and when it is beating with joy. I sing because sometimes I simply don't know what else to do. I sing because I cannot help but sing.

I don't think that song is just for the musicians of the world. I think that song is for all human beings. Recently I went snow shoeing in the mountains for the first time, and when I asked a friend if she thought I would be able to snow shoe, she said "if you can walk you can snowshoe," and, well, I think a similar thing could be said about singing, that "if you can talk, you can sing."

On that note, a poem for your day~

Only If You Join Me
By St. Catherine of Siena (1347-1380)

One more song tonite, okay, but only
if you join me.

Once, when I was sad, I said to a kind old priest,
"Have you learned any secrets
to unburden the

And he responded,

"Hum a favorite melody;
wine will always rise
to the top
of oil."

Saturday, March 14, 2009

A Dog Day~


Today, it is raining, and Gus and I are having a day of rest. We have decided against busyness of any kind. We are curled up with cozy blankets and hot nettle tea, re- reading "Women Who Run With The Wolves." Our only plan ( inspired by our excellent reading material of course) is a wild run through the spring woods sometime tomorrow.

For today however, our "wildness" has more to do with un-brushed hair and a dedication to leaving all things that require doing of any sort. This includes the civilized activities of washing dishes, doing laundry, making beds, and maintaining respectable tidy appearances ( not that this is a forte of ours anyway).

I have heard the wise one's say: "We do without doing and everything gets done"

This is my meditation for today, as the sweet spring rains make the world green around me, I shall simply let everything be.

There's my kettle I go to re-fill the tea pot for the second steamy green cup of herbal magic. Gotta love rainy days~

Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Last Years Peonies

I am a child born of the 70's. My parents were the kind of people who raised their children on 160 acres in the mountains of British Columbia's wild interior. My babysitters were the dogs and my playgrounds were the fields and trees and streams of the land. My father plowed our fields with horses and built our home from logs that he harvested with those same two beige clydesdales. My Mother grew vegetables and fruit trees. We had chickens, ducks, sheep, dogs, cats, goats and honey bees. All of these creatures were my friends, except one goose who had it in for me, and would race toward me with his neck outstretched, honking loudly whenever I entered his pen.

My sister and I in the bean patch 1979

To a child, to me, my life there was an idyllic Utopian world. Unaware of the "grown up struggles" my parents were having in their young 20 something lives, it was paradise. On the day my mother sat me down and told me it was time to move to town, without dad, and start a new life in a shared house, my paradise ended. I felt like my identity without the land was non-existent. I didn't know who I was, or what I would do without the earth. I cried and I cried and everything felt broken.

Much has happened between then and now, and the details of those in between years are not important. They have something to do with growing older, acceptance, and faith in something bigger than myself.

Today, I live in a city with a population of 3 million. The town that my mother moved us to when I was seven, had a population of 1500. At the time I thought 1500 was huge ( imagine my shock when I first left home to travel the world and found myself in Asia, in city's like Bangkok, and Jakarta).

As I look out my window this morning, onto this small plot of earth, upon which my little green house sits, I realize that I have filled the dirt surrounding this house to maximum capacity with green and growing things. That I am a steward of the earth, as my parents were.

Wild garden in front of house last May

Despite the numbers of people and buildings that co-exist here with me, I feel as close to the earth as I did as a child. Looking out my window this morning, considering the best spot to put my honey bee hives this spring, I realize that the earth never leaves us. Even when we feel we have left her, she never leaves us. The plum trees that grow in lines down my street show their pink beauty to the world every spring, without hesitation. The roses bloom year after year, the garlic comes up right on time, the honeybees tickle the lemon balm, like they always have done.

Last Years Garlic

And on those days when the world feels crowded and I cannot hear the wind in the trees, I can still feel my feet on the earth, and know that the soil that I walk on, is the Great Mother. Each step then becomes a prayer for her, an act of gratitude, a recognition that she is always a part of me, that I am a part of her, that this has always been this way, and that it always will be.

Last years Garlic Harvest

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Turning of the Wheel~

Every year when winter comes and my garden recedes back into the earth, I wonder if spring will ever come again. And every year when spring comes again, I marvel at the incredible cyclical powers of transformation, death and rebirth. Not a year passes when I don't stand at the threshold of each season in awe of the changes that are happening all around me. I have, what I call seasonal amnesia. It's not as bad as it sounds. It's actually a kind of wonderful blessing, for I get to experience every season, as though it were the first time.

Each season is it's own beauty. How can we judge one as being better than another? As the wheel turns I often find myself ready for the same deep down changes that the earth is manifesting. My whole body says, yes!, I want to imitate the bare trees standing in the quiet of a snowy landscape, or yes!, I want to burst up through the darkness into the light and share my blooms with the world.

Today, I am thinking how wonderful if would be if I could marvel at my own being in the same way. If I could see the wintry depths of my own soul as I do the earths. I have to admit that I have a tendency to want to live in perpetual spring. And yet, I also see clearly the detriments of such a desire, that winter's decay is what brings new life.

In the ancient world the people would celebrate the goddess with kernels of corn, because they were representative of the end of one cycle and the beginning of another. The harvest of one cycle is the seed of the next. Isn't that beautiful?

Such age old wisdom. Nothing new. Those wise-ones have been celebrating death and rebirth since the very beginning. Still though, I have to put my cap of "heard it all before" down, because I cannot help but acknowledge how much wisdom is here. Today I look out my kitchen window upon the veg plot and see the tiny shoots of garlic poking up out of the earth to welcome the new day. It seems like yesterday that I tucked them into that black earth for a long winter sleep.

Spring always returns, and it too shall pass, but there is great comfort here I think. Great comfort in knowing that everything changes, that life is a constant infinite cycle of endings and beginnings.

Today, I feel like the garlic in my garden, encouraged by the light, roots in the earth, life force rising, growing up and down at the same time, trusting, alive, a radiant possibility, a "human-becoming."

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

To All The Good Friends I Have Known~

If you are like most Canadians you own at least three of Neil Young's albums. If you grew up in a small Canadian town, you know at least 10 of his songs by heart. If you were born in the 1970's your dad probably looked like Neil Young.

mine sure did...

Neil Young is our Canadian Hero. He has been playing in the background of my life while I was learning to walk, to read and to drive down old country roads, in 62 Chevy's, grinding the gears all the way. Neil Young is the musician you turn to after several bottles of red wine, sitting round a blazing campfire, under a starry Canadian Sky. "Heart of Gold" kicks the night off and "Helpless" winds it down. Neil Young's music is comfort food for the soul, it's like mash potatoes and sunday dinner.

And it was Neil Young who inspired this post. Just the other night, in a moment of missing my country home, I put Neil Young on the stereo, and sang my heart out until the longing was gone, and all was well again.

The song that brought me back around was called, "One of these days," and it goes like this:

One of these days,
I'm gonna sit down and write a long letter
To all the good friends I've known
And I'm gonna try
And thank them all for the good times together...

And I thought standing there in my messy kitchen, I thought, now that is good idea. Apron on, wooden spoon in hand, dinner simmering on the stove, tea brewing in the pot, I was over come with gratitude for "All the good friends I have known."

So this post is dedicated to "All the good friends I have known." To all the wonderful people who make my life so very sweet. For each and everyone of you who have come into my life and reminded me how very beautiful this world is over and over again.

To the wild folks back home in those Monashee Mountains, the world would not be so much fun without you, to Sugar Lake and campfires and beer on the patio boat. To the friends who I have met in forgien lands, watching sunsets in exotic places and talking about the stars. To the incredible women I dance with every week. To the friends I went to school with all those years ago, the girls, who have grown up to be beautiful women. To the music makers, the guitar playing friends who have spilled more than one bottle of wine on my old carpets. To the festival friends, you wild bunch of dancing faeries, I love you all! To the philosopher friends, and whole nights we've spent together, discussing the meaning of it all. To the friends from all over this glorious globe who come to this site to read my ramblings.  You folks are the BEST!  Good Goddess, am I ever Lucky.  

Thank You All, for reminding me over and over again that I am not alone in this wonderful world. 

Today, is my 33rd birthday, a good time to reflect on one's blessings I think. Here's to you!

Monday, March 2, 2009

March Winds~

Today, when I awoke, the smell of spring was all through the house.

It must have come in through the living-room window. The winds of change sweeping through the house in the night, invited by Faeries no doubt. The smell of earth and water and invisible flower petals everywhere.

I walked across the floor, in a kind of trance, spring in my hair and in my lungs. My bare feet heading straight for the door. Reaching to open the door, barley awake, I stepped onto the porch. It was like stepping into another land. The most balmy spring wind was blowing everything awake.

March winds are like no other. They come in like a lion, yes, but a lion that roars us to awakening, to the stirring of life all around.

As I stood on my porch, breathing the spring wind, a sprinkling of rain misting the the morning, I could feel the vital energy of my own being surging and quickening.

Gus joined me for this morning's spring symphony. He came onto the porch, stretched and turned his head to the wind. I noticed that he tilted his nose to the best possible angle, in order to fully breath in the invisible magic. I just happened to be coming up the stairs with my camera. Such glorious timing.

There we stood, both of us marveling at the sweetness of this world.

"What is essential, is invisible to the eye." ~ Antoine de Saint Exupery