(changes, moisture, drought, and olfactory fireworks) Here in LA, springtime hits like this: As the pink jasmine starts to blossom, there is a slight pause, I imagine as the entire city takes a collective deep breath and thinks of only good things for a moment or two. Then they explode: a cacophony of white fireworks that blow up your olfactory sensors and make you giddy with the joy of it all. Tender green leaves start sprouting on the sycamores that, two weeks ago, were still twisted gnarled branches suspended against the grey sky. Peach, cherry and apple trees all bloom together; the bees are buzzing in a frenzied orgy. Its a sudden thing, this explosion. They’ll be gone in a week, replaced by the citrus blossoms that, in turn will hang heavy in the air.
The other morning, as I sat sipping my coffee I became overwhelmed with sadness for a moment: we didn’t even have a winter. Winter in LA is a tenuous thing at best, but this time, no sooner had I lined my boots up by the front door, than I put them away again because it was still 80 degrees. A few times I put boots and a hat on anyway, defiantly, walked outside as if I could will it to be cold with clothing choices alone. For the record, this doesn’t work but its a great way to get overheated and grumpy.
Me and you and the mountains:
Jam and I hiked in the mountains the other day, gathering horsetail and sage, nibbling on rosehips. We’d never actually seen our favourite trails at this time of year, because they’re usually covered in snow. The lack of snow is disturbing. The lack of rain is disturbing. We finally had a couple of rain storms last week and I ran around outside trying to absorb as much of it through my skin as possible: as if a little bit of rain alone could seal up the dried out cracks. I worry as to what this means for fire season, and what this means for the plants which are already stressed.
The other day I walked outside and saw my neighbour watering the concrete. I still have no idea what she was doing, but it made me think about how most people are so disconnected from their environments that ‘drought’ is a theoretical thing. There is still water in the taps so what does it really mean? How does it affect us when someone else will surely figure something out. When you walk outside and see, its different. When you realise that your body responds to the world around you, and that the extra aggravation is a desperate kind of thirst, its a different thing entirely. There’s a dried out anxiety hanging over these drought-ridden places. Things that perhaps folks in wetter places don’t have to consider much but are evident here: nettles are too drying and are not our friends; prickly pear, mulberries, mallows and seaweeds provide blessed relief and, in turn, grounding, relaxation, a deep sigh as the moisture fills the cracks again. I’ll say it a different way for reinforcement: if you live in the Southwest and are feeling all cracked up and irritated and dried out, go and make yourself a mallow or prickly pear or hibiscus infusion, and drink it, and see how much better you feel afterwards (this, for the record, is why herb energetics are so important, but more on that in a couple of weeks).
February surprise boxes are going out (SO LATE!) tomorrow. 50 boxes full of exotic spices and cacao treats (and the most AMAZING spiced, cordyceps-reishi-infused hot chocolate mix). The way I’m making surprise boxes is changing: monthly box as a more focused creative outlet, mixing myth, poetry, art, image, herbs, energetics and weaving all of these together into one little box. I’m immersing myself completely in each month as a design project from idea to completion. For each 4 items that makes it in, there are another 6 or so that don’t; I’m going to start posting the good ones here. That is, more herbal recipes, things to use, bath and body products, herbal formulas, herbal information. I’ll have a new website up in a month or so, and along with that more classes, more writing. I’m super excited, and can’t wait to share it all. Such is the result of a frenzied spring explosion: after a few months of turning inwards and pondering things (What am I doing? What is it all for? How can I best affect the world with my actions?), there is growth. Happy spring, lovely northern hemisphered people. If it hasn't hit yet, I hope it does soon, and to all you polar vortexees, hang in there. Its coming.