There has been a different feel to the air in the mornings lately. It feels a little warmer, the cold doesn't nip as harshly, and from every direction the birds are singing. I decided it must be time to go check my favorite nettle spot. Last weekend, I took my daughter out to the ancient old maple at the edge of a hazlenut orchard where I found such a jackpot of fresh green nettles last year I hardly knew what to do with them all, and sure enough, little sprigs of fuzzy green were popping up everywhere from under their brown blanket of maple leaves.
Monday, February 20, 2012
Monday, February 13, 2012
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Sometimes, you just have to do something wild.
Whether it comes from an inner sense of artistic expression, or just because it's something you've always wanted to do, from time to time it's good to go with the idea. It makes for a good story. Although this one is slightly old news, for those folks that know me, I finally got the photographs from a friend and couldn't help but share. This Fall, I felt like doing something wild to let go of the old. I did not want a tattoo, or a piercing, or a new hair color. I just wanted to cut my hair with an axe. I wanted to be able to tell my grandchildren one day that it was something I had done. They could then tell their grandchildren the story of the time great great great grandma Colley got a wild hair to cut her hair with an axe. Now mind you, my braids were very long, long enough where I knew I had a lot of safe distance to work with, thus, this idea held up to my safety standards after lengthy consideration. I also had my friend do it who can throw an axe dead on target at 40 feet, so I knew close range chopping would be precise. I told him I did not want to end up like Vincent VanGogh. I'm not quite that artistic, and that would make for a much gorier story than I had in mind.
So, on a crisp Fall afternoon my friend said, "How about that haircut you've been talking about?" and the rest is life history. Ultimately, it was a hatchet and not an axe that did the job, and it took a few whacks on the chopping block to cut through this thick hair of mine, but it lived up to my expectations. When it was all said and done, the whole thing was quick, painless, way cheaper than a tattoo, and the makings of family legend. I've got a bit shorter hair now which is much more manageable and I can live with that until it grows back out, which really won't take too long.
And I've got a hell of a good story.
Thursday, February 2, 2012
As the wheel of the year turns once again, we mark the shift in the seasons by celebrating Imbolc, an ancient holiday honoring the first stirrings of the seeds beneath the rich, dark earth and the slow but sure return of longer days. This year, my children and I had a very simple celebration with a delicious dinner of shepherd's pie, earthy carob cake with cocoa nib "seeds", and our traditional light garden filled with the seeds of dreams, goals and things we wish to grow in the coming year.
My daughter went out in the orchard and filled a pan with dark brown, crumbly soil. Then we took turns writing out the things we want to sprout and grow onto little scraps of paper. When my children were younger, it worked well to have them draw out little pictures. As each one was written out, we crumpled the scraps up into tiny "seeds" and planted them in the pan of soil, lighting a beeswax candle and planting it above each one. The house smelled lovely as we watched the candles burn down to mere stubs and go out.
When we start working a garden space in the coming weeks, we will turn the pan of soil with all the little "seeds" into the beds so that they may sprout and grow along with our vegetables, further fostering a connection with the piece of land we're living on. It's a good feeling to know Spring and another growing season are just around the corner, with all the unfolding of plans and dreams it brings.