These intricate and lovely puff-balls have formed on their wild 6-foot-stalks in our sideyard.
Look at them closer: they have an inviting pattern.
Our yard is all a-bloom! Seeds that were sown months ago are sharing their sunny show with us. California poppies (the red ones are my new favorites!), calendula, nasturtiums (where we want them, *and* where we don't ..), sunflowers of many variety, zinnia, cosmos .. and then all the wildflower mix that I planted and haven't gotten to know by name yet. It is dazzling and festive.
And then, there are the weeds. There are many weeds. They grow even better (and faster) than the planned flowers. But what's in a name? The dandelion is a deeply nourishing plant ~ its roots, leaves, and yellow flower. But we know how most Americans feel about a dandelion. For years I have been enchanted by the idea that "weeds" ~ "wild (or unplanned) plants" ~ are simply useful plants that we haven't formed a relationship with yet. My garden beds have always tended toward the untamed. This is partially the reason: I know that most of those "weeds" are useful somehow ~ if only I knew the "how". When I read Sandor Katz's (*highly* recommended) The Revolution Will Not be Microwaved, I became a bold enthusiast of gleaned fruits (read: fruit that fell off the tree onto the sidewalk), and a timid taster of wild plants. I knew (with the book to prove it!) that so many of those foreign (to me) leaves were edible, nourishing, and/or medicinal.
This year I have been infatuated with thoughts of studying with Susun Weed, foremost author and teacher of the Wise Woman Tradition ~ the unofficial and time-honored knowledge of the grandmother-shaman-wisdomkeepers of our universal heritage. The weeds have spoken to her, and they have much to say. But being the expert single-tasker (as opposed to multi-tasker ~ hee hee) that I am, I have been 100% focused (voluntarily and involuntarily) on this new role that I have accepted of being a Mother. I consider it the most important of my time. So I have kept my studying simply to the books, applying herbal wisdom to my own situation, and feeling it out for myself, as have so many mothers before me. It feels indeed magical, powerful, and empowering to dabble. My body thanks me for it.
Someday I'll know the human benefits some of those "unplanned plants" are holding. For now, Sealion will simply have to bare with my untamed gardens.
For years, if ever I had the occasion to give someone a card, I always made it myself. There have been many last-minute birthday and parents' day cards presented over the years (sometimes with still-wet glue!), but it felt good to give at least a little something handmade. The last few years I've not mustered the steam to get out a card at all, let alone a homemade one. But recently I've been inspired.
My Dad's birthday is today (happy birthday, Dad!), and I made him a card (and even sent it on time!). The stock is sturdy watercolor paper, and the rest is from magazine pages (including the envelope). He's retiring this year ~ a monumental occasion for this loyal Civil Servant. He has visions of becoming a professional sailor. I hope so bad he does it. So that's what this card is about.
I received our first shipment of diapers. I hope/plan to get as many as possible second hand, but. . I just wanted to have some so I could see them and touch them. Maybe because having them around means that Baby is coming. Soon. And for real. I have never been one of those girls who oogles and coos over a baby and baby things, so my reaction is a new experience for me: when I got them in the mail, I pulled them out and had this warmy feeling inside. I'm delighted about them. They are soft and sweet-smelling and fresh and new ~ just like our little one will be. I have kept them out ~ just sitting there ~ so that when I walk by, or am doing other things, I can look over at them, and get that same warmy feeling inside, and a delighted smile on my face even if I'm by myself.
I know that soon enough, my view of diapers forever will be changed. And those diapers themselves will be, too. But this is how I feel right now. I just wanted to write it down to save and savour.
"nappy" is the name British-influenced countries use instead of "diaper".
preaching to the choir in this readership, but: there's an organization for every cause, including spreading the word about using cloth diapers.
Also: all the nasturtium flowers you can eat, and a handful of basil.
Our tomato vine is proudly hiding her produce. As I looked at the plant, I saw many tinier green fruits, but none yet ripe. Until I got down close and looked underneath; like a hen with her chicks, the tomato was hiding a bountiful early harvest under her lowest vines! I had to use my garden clog to collect them, there were so many.
as for what i was really expressing in that last post, here it is:
i have been feeling sunny and energized recently. in my prenatal yoga class yesterday, our teacher asked us to summarize in one adjective what our experience was at that moment. the class answers ran the rainbow spectrum of pregnant feelings, from exhausted to relieved to gleeful. my answer was, "sunny". i felt a tad bit pollyanna, but ~ it was honest at that moment. then our teacher, Uma, told us to close our eyes as she took us into her always-moving, never-the-same-one-twice guided meditation. she told us to go to the center of our adjective-experience, and hold it as we would the hand of a newborn. feel it for real, examine every inch, smell it, listen to it, taste it. what was the core truth in it? could we *be* with that truth? and as i looked at the newborn-hand of my truth, i realized i held it with silver-lined anxiety and tenuous clinging; i didn't want it to disappear into cloudy murk. i feel as if i plod along in my self-titled turtle way yet my emotions are mysterious, flighty, and not nearly as reliable as my pace. Uma instructed us to come away with a single pearl of wisdom from the truth that was at our center. From my sunny spot, i felt good about this pearl: that no matter where my emotions ended up day-by-day (especially being the example to a wee impressionable-one), things would be fine if i could just be aware in them. show up. this morning i woke up at the top of my world. i wrote in my morning journal (which is much easier to do when the emotional sun is out) that i wished i could bottle the way i felt at that moment, so that when i was low, i could simply open up the bottle, take a whiff, and be instantly transported. now i am low. the companionship of my cats does not console me, and i can't find the bottle that i put that sunshine in! the pearl of wisdom i told my sunny self doesn't really feel that good. i would much rather be feeling sunny than be aware in my sorrow and ever-shifting emotionality.
on the lovely blog that i have spent embarrassingly long reading today, Superhero Journal, she quoted this:
"Suffering is not holding you. You are holding suffering. When you become good at the art of letting sufferings go, then you'll come to realize how unnecessary it was for you to drag those burdens around with you. You'll see that no one else other than you was responsible. The truth is that existence wants your life to become a festival." -Osho
usually i would grab onto this and make it a mantra. make a mental refrigerator magnet or inspirational coffee mug out of it. but today, this next one (also found on her blog) feels more true:
"We are the mirror as well as the face in it. We are tasting the taste this minute of eternity. We are pain and what cures pain, both. We are the sweet cold water and the jar that pours." Rumi
that person in my life who would much rather document sunshine than sorrow: this blog post is dedicated to you.
i have this vivid, not-too-secret fantasy that peak oil will happen and pass in my near future, that we'll run out and things will shut down, and we'll be bound to survive "without." none of the modern conveniences we've grown so quickly to depend on ~ including phones, and computers. we'll have chickens and goats in our backyard, and a network of survivalists who will reawaken an age of craftsmanship, art, and living day-by-day b/c there's just no other way to do it. all of the skills i have honed will finally have a purpose and my interests will finally be useful.
i sure as hell wouldn't have been sitting at this computer for hours eavesdropping on other people's lives via the internet.