Coming Out of Dormancy

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This is how I feel. Like a flower just aching to burst into bloom. It’s been a while since I’ve written, I guess I’ve been in hibernation. But, though it is only February, the world is coming back to life, and I’m coming right along with it!

I finally had the opportunity to spend some time in my central medicinal herb garden this afternoon and it was such a profoundly refreshing experience that I had to share it. I thought a good many thoughts and here are just a few of them.

My primary purpose was to clear out at least the edges so that last year’s perennials (and hopefully some self seeding annuals as well) could begin to recover from their own long winter’s nap. As I cleared, I came up against a typical quandary for a “natural” gardener like myself. many of the “weeds” that I was clearing away with their intensely netted webs of roots, are actually medicinal herbs themselves! There was chickweed (highly nutritious and useful for healing skin conditions and easing bronchial distress), and yellow dock (a wonderful liver tonic) in the way of my Valerian (calms anxiety and gives rest to insomniacs) and my hyssop (immune system booster). So how do we choose? Why is one herb more deserving of the space than another? Mostly, I’d say it is a matter of effort. I intentionally planted the Valerian and hyssop, while the other plants (not really weeds at all) volunteered to come up there. Also, the Valerian and Hyssop will never choke out the chickweed and yellow dock, but the reverse is not necessarily true. So weed I did, and ruthlessly at that.

My secondary purpose was to get this aging body moving! Pulling out the strawberry hoe and using my muscles to achieve a goal just plain feels good, and without the fusty aroma of a gym!

And last but certainly not least, there was the silence. Oh the blessed silence. Of course there were sounds, there were songbirds singing, Guinea fowl “potracked” nearby, neighbors conversed, and naturally there was the sound of that hoe breaking through to the precious soil. It was more of a spiritual silence, away from the distractions of this computerized world.

I hope you have a piece of soil for yourself. Whether it be a garden, a small square of land in front of a walk up apartment, or even a five gallon pail full of purchased soil, plunge your hands in and see what you find. You may just discover that you’ve been more asleep than you thought. Let that piece of soil bring you back to life too!