Love and Spring Tonic

First, a tender message I found in my classroom zen garden today.
Then, blue sky in the space between the red barn and the poplar and sycamore trees. Even the sleepy walnut in the background is beginning to put on her summer clothes.

I am taking some photos these days with the aim of capturing images of portals and entrances. The deer trail photo yesterday was one of those.

The Kreider family heirloom peonies are opening.

Mostly wild herbs for tea: two kinds of plantain (for respiration), willow (for the head pain), clover, chamomile and catnip (to slow my system down), violet leaf, nettle, several kinds of mint, lemon balm, henbit, dandelion, dock, wood sorrel, and a few locust blossoms. I added local honey as it was cooling, and a few dashes of elderberry tincture for sipping.

Gratitude List:
1. Orioles everywhere! I saw a pair at school this afternoon while I was doing border patrol at the lower parking lot during the social. My Icarus has been singing constantly in his poplar tree. And while I was gathering wild herbs for tea, I saw and heard a pair of orchard orioles working on their nest.
2. The scent of locust and poplar tulips which fills the hollow.
3. The herbal allies which appear at this time of year to help me cope with the poplar and locust blossoms, which make me sneeze, and make my eyes and throat itch, and fill my head with a cottony fog.
4. These ever-shiny young people with whom I spend my days. The twisty feeling in my gut is upon me again. I approach June with such an incredible feeling of relief, and such a wistfulness about seeing them go.
5. Good basil pesto

May we walk in Beauty!

Roots and Lune (or, A Lune in June)

 Welcome to the renovated Mockingbird Chronicles!Roots

Not a particularly interesting photo to inaugurate my new blog design, I know, and Google Collage randomized the pics, so it doesn’t automatically show the process.  Still, this is a project I want to document.  On Monday (Solstice), I went to my friend Sarah’s house and dug up a burdock.  I planted it out in the woods’ edge where it should help to break up the clay.  I took a piece of the root, and then harvested some curly dock root and some dandelion root.  In the bottom center, the roots are all washed and waiting to be peeled (curly dock top left, burdock bottom left, and dandelion to the right).  Right center: Peeled.  I let them dry overnight, and the next morning Jon said what I was thinking: “They look like bones.”  Burdock is top left, dandelion top right, and curly dock is in the bottom right.  The bottom left photo shows them in their jars after about four hours in the dryer (dandelion and curly dock on left, burdock on right). Now for tea.

Today’s prompt is to write a lune, which is sort of haiku-like, and can be on any subject.  It’s a syllable-count poem of 5/3/5.  These tiny lines of two or three (as in lune and cinquain) are really challenging.  I might try some of these that break the line endings, but I have a feeling that there needs to be a purposeful ending to break up the longer lengths.  It might be interesting to do a series of lune and haiku, interspersing them.  And a lune, of course, is moon-shaped, so it might be interesting to take the sense of that instead of the specific directions and do a 7/5/3/5/7, or even a 9/7/5/3/5/7/9.  Oooh.  The possibilities!

Harbor the wildness.
Look around.
Settle into green.

Gratitude List:
1. Shakti energy.  That is to say, the will and the fire to find the way and to dive in to the process.
2. The roadside flowers of late June: always Queen Anne’s Lace, Chicory, and Day Lily, but also Buttercup, Sweet Melilot, Hag’s Taper, and lavender bubbles of Vetch.
3. This question for pondering: What is your greatest joy?  I want to make sure that one category of my questions is about joy.  What brings you joy in this moment?  What memory brings you joy?  What will you do for yourself today to bring joy to yourself (or others)?  (Thank you, Miss Jan.)
4. Yoga.  Stretching the spine, balancing, breathing–they’re so much more than the simple acts of stretch and balance and breath.  Those are words that fill other spaces and other meanings throughout the day.
5. Date night tonight!  I don’t know when we last planned a date for just us. I feel so adult.

May we walk in Beauty!

Little Sisters at Work

IMAG0392 IMAG0394

The Garden at Herbs from the Labyrinth.  The Little Sisters are happy in their work, and a baby elephant (Ganesha?) helps to keep the order of the labyrinth.

Odd dreams last night after I finally got back to dozing post-insomnia.  My cell phone appeared for the first time in my dreams.  I needed it to take pictures on the beach.  And I dreamed that my younger sister Valerie was actually older than I am and that we had another younger sister with a very different temperament than any of the rest of us.

The Poetry Prompt for today is to write a memory poem.
Here is a picture of me and Suzy and Jennifer before Jennifer went to America for repairs:

On the Lakeshore I could look out and see
distant America where my grandparents
sat over breakfast every day thinking of me
in their light-filled Victorian house
with the wooden banisters and sliding doors.

Jennifer, my doll with the golden hair
who had gone to America to be repaired
sat on their table and dined with them
longing for the day she would be home with me
and Ed Bear and Suzy in her red dress
who I carried under my arm.

Gratitude List:
1. Wise women.  Yesterday’s encounters with Phyllis, with Sarah and Julia.  If I had a daughter, I would send her to Sense of Wonder Camp.
2. Watching and listening to the bees, the Little Sisters, hard at work in the garden, zzzing through sunbeams like liquid light itself.
3. This rain, this moon, this strawberry rhubarb pie.
4. The will to begin.  And there’s an odd gratitude hidden under the rug of those words.  I am grateful for last night’s insomnia. During these bouts my brain functions in a circular fashion.  I am neither wholly asleep nor wholly awake.  I have a project hoard that has been feeling weighty, and last night my brain brought me back again and again to the question of whether the creative thought of someday getting to this work is a good thing, or whether it’s just another stress.  Last night when my mind circled back around to it, I started to imagine my life without this project in it, and I felt such a great relief.  I am going to have some big bags for Re-Uzit this week.  Ah, relief.
5. Burdock, curly dock, dandelion (sounds like a new version of duck, duck, goose)–I have roots of all three plants on my counter.  Today I will grate them and then dry them in the food processor, and use them in teas.  Researching them brought me again to some researches on wild greens, particularly two varieties of wild lettuce that grow on the farm.  I might start experimenting with them a little.

May we walk in Beauty!

Listen for the Whisper


Listen for the whisper of the moon, daughters.
Listen for the distant calling of a bird in the night.
Listen for the sound of your name in the trickling streams,
and breathe the calling deep into your soul.

Watch for your own colors in the sunrise, children.
Look for your own symbol in the curling vines.
Search the skies for clouds shaped like your own dreams,
and feel your soul take the shape of You.

The world is sending you signals at every moment:
You belong here.  You are a necessary part of this process.
Step into this moment of the River of your life
and feel the cooling waters reinvigorate your soul.

Gratitude List:
1. Spring warmth
2. The morning chatter of the tree people
3. Synchronicity–As when someone comes up and starts talking to you about the exact thing that you’re pondering in a moment
4. All the whispers, the colors, the patterns that seem to say, “You belong here.”
5. Quiet

May we walk in Beauty!