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We have arrived in November, a true in-between time. The colorful leaves have fallen, the garden has been put to rest, and we are awaiting the first snowfall to make the landscape beautiful once again. We've gotten through an election, and we are still living through the stressful times of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sometimes I think the Magic that comes with this particular time of year, late October, is the coziness of the nights spent by the fireplace, warm meals, and loved ones to snuggle up with. Moments like these call for celebration and gratitude, good wine, herbal tea, and the sweets that we let ourselves indulge in--guilt-free.
You can notice the change from the humid, vegetal smells of summer mornings to the crisp richness of autumn, at least here in Vermont. The dawn is much later too: now we step outside as the last stars fade, and the air has a trace of wood smoke from the first fires of the season.
You may have heard about the gut-brain connection and that the health of our bellies has an impact on our moods, but what about the gut's role in the health of our immune system?
August is all about slowing down to be present and savor the fleeting summer. Produce is at its peak, and the garden has become a bit wilder as we tend to weed less to try and keep up with the never-ending supply of vegetables. We’ve been busy preserving food, processing herbs, and indulging in outdoor meals.
If you live close by the sea, consider yourself lucky. Even if it’s a few hours away, a visit to the coast is worth it: facing the waves and the horizon line, you can feel enveloped by water, lost for a while, ready to embark on journeys far away. This flowing, primal element--undeniable in its vast presence--can bring a sense of peaceful smallness.
Go into the garden every day, no matter what. That's the promise I made at the start of the season. It will be a daily ritual, a practice to keep me in tune with the growth and health of the garden, and a sure way not to miss a bit of garden gossip.
There is nothing like these long days when every delicious, summery minute counts. This time of year embodies abundance, energy, and fullness. July brings daily joy, feeling the sunshine and warmth that we Northerners miss so much throughout our long winter.
The summer season is upon us, and while we are still coming to terms with the fact that it will look a bit different this year, we are also looking forward to spending more time in our backyards and getting creative in our summer kitchens.
The term Shinrin-yoko, which translates in English as Forest Bathing, was coined in 1982 by the Japanese government in part as a corrective therapeutic action to a then recognized public health crisis.
The appearance of dandelion flowers can be a signal for some to get out the lawn mower, but for us herbalists, it’s a call to make fritters!
Guest blog – by Mercedes Miles Mack
Working with my ancestors feels like being in the sun. It feels like being in alignment with the person I have always dreamed of being. Plugged into mystery, magic and play; the real allure of being alive.