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Summer Daze

So much to do and yet feeling the sweet spaces of "between"....sitting and enjoying a cup of tea in the garden. Crafting wee bouquets. Playing with my adorable kittens. Of course I still have a job, and I have honored myself with a part time schedule to explore the parts of my experience causing me the most joy and curiosity.

I started the day with a cup of Milk Oolong with local honey, in a handmade cup. Thank goodness for all of our local potters! I am blessed to know a few. Sipping in the garden, surveying the beauty while listening to the season's first cicadas meant I also noticed a few still empty planters. So there was a quick morning trip to a little garden center, lol here it is mid July and I am still planting annuals. Real plant geeks know exactly what I am talking about!

On the way home I stopped multiple times as I spotted St Joan's Wort (Hypericum perforatum) (some of us like St. Joan's instead of St John's to pay homage to Joan of Arc- what a spiritual badass!). Jumping out of the car with my garden scissors, thanking the plant as I harvested. Oh and can someone tell me why it always has a blanket of poison ivy growing under it?? I've already made a quart jar of herbal infused oil, now crafting a tincture as studies are pointing to this herb for use against Lyme!

Once home, I chopped up the fresh St. Joan's Wort and got her marinating in quality Vodka. Up next was the daily gathering of Self-Heal flowers,(Prunella vulgaris) tincture already made last week, now collecting more for the herbal oil crafting. This was a lovely stroll through my garden, and my neighbor's gardens, on a herbal scavenger hunt! A common "weed', it has a long history in herbal use. How can you go wrong with a name like "Self-Heal"?

I noticed the permanent smile on my face as I was going about my morning. The deep sense of joy and purpose in my heart. My calling, my mission, my love. The feel of the air on my skin. The gratitude for being so lucky to be spending such quality time with the herbs, my garden, and myself. Heading back out to gather Lavender flower spikes, I noticed my Hoya was flowering! She was a rescue plant some 10 years ago. She now hangs over 6' long and is one of my houseplant delights. More on that coming in another story some day. :)

Anyway, out to the Lavender plants in my front garden. The sun was full on them, and so were the bees. Carefully, fully present, I slowly began to harvest the long stems. The various bees buzzed in ecstasy. I joined them emotionally and felt the bliss invite every part of my being to bask in the sun with the lavender, with the bees, with the fragrance. Immersed in a swoon. I marveled at the beauty and abundance of the lavender crop this year. I have several varieties, so I have various shades of purple flowers. I planted a new Czech variety this spring. The foliage is the most fragrant I have ever had the pleasure to inhale. So excited to see flowers next year on it.

Just wanted to stop and check in. Summer is a busy time for the gardener-herbalist. The best kind of busy. :) Onto crafting the lavender herbal oil, and this afternoon bottling my Elderflower "Champagne" that I started brewing on Thursday, and starting to put together the Nourishment Herb kits.

I hope your day is also so delightful that your smile stays joyfully on your beautiful face. Chose what causes you happiness.

Blessings and Love,

Erica Jo

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