In Winter I Dream

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My heart is dreaming of Spring! I know winter has just begun and we have a ways to go, but isn’t winter all about the dreamy rest before we spring back into action?

Over last weekend my hubs and I made some headway clearing out a very overgrown area of plum trees. They were dripping with Usnea Lichen, which I have been greatfully harvesting for medicine before we run the smaller branches through the chipper for mulch and store the larger cuts for firewood. 

Even during the sleeping season we are busily prepping for the forthcoming Spring garden and tending to some overdue feathering of our nest.  

Today however,  is another soggy day here in the PNW and I finally finished up the  labels for the Spring seasonal share. I took a long look back at the roots of when I began blending tea and creating herbal medicine. I’ve had just about as many looks as Madonna. 

But the one that has always had a hold on my heart was the simple hand drawn look of a collection of herbs, flowers, butterflies and bees. Simple and beautiful medicine. 

I have been concocting some lovely medicinal’s for the Spring Share and I am excited to put this box of seasonally supportive medicine together. 

Altar & Leaf has shape shifted in so many ways over the years as I have gotten to know myself through each incarnation. This work has always been my saving grace when I’m feeling unsure about the world and all it’s tribulations. I find that many folks look to nature when they are in a healing crisis. Using herbal remedies re-connects us to our wholeness.

That is the magic of nature. She’s there to heal us in a myriad of ways. When we give back to her in what ever way we humans can, she rewards us with the medicines that promote a sense well-being.  

I hope you consider supporting the work I am doing on our farm and the work of your own healing through the Community Supported Herbalism Share I have created.  

To learn more click here.  

Yours in all your wild and weedy dreams, 

Lindsay  

 

 

Simple Joys For The Winter Season: Recipes & Wisdom

Thank you for joining me on my blog space where I will share seasonal bits of wisdom and simple joys. During each season I will be sharing wee morsels from my ebook, The Heart of Blending: An inspired sensory guide for the budding herbalist & tea enthusiast.

Photo by Lindsay Anne Holt

Photo by Lindsay Anne Holt

The Winter months are blanketing us once again. An inward time where we can rest our minds and bodies in hopes to restore the vital essence of self for the forthcoming Spring. We make efforts to slow down and retreat into the cozy warmth of our homes. Sip on nourishing teas and tisanes that gently provide our bodies with nutrients to enhance our immune systems.

It is during this "Sleeping Season" that we can embark on a quest to gather our dream seeds. Foraging through the tender areas of the imagination where you can pluck daydreams from the skies and stand before still waters of self reflection. There is a palpable shift in mood this time of year. The natural rhythms of the season encourage us to pause and reflect on who we are and what we are to become.

But oh, this mood. A crystalline pool of introspection. Look deep into yourself and can see all those lives lived. Those moments where lessons were learned and the light bulb went off! Those moments of pain and suffering that were really a gift of strength in disguise. Smiles, joy, tears, pleasure, birth and death. The ebb and flow, the wax and wane.

As we embark on the beginning of a new year-I challenge you to look into the reflective surfaces around you and look into the eyes of the person staring back at you.

Don't get caught up in the self criticisms or imperfections. Just look at yourself.

What stories have been written in your life lines this past year?

What dream seeds are you planting for the year ahead?

There is a beautiful glimmer of light that perches in the soul this time of year. Outside we see the twinkle of lights, the sparkle of frost covered grounds, fires crackling in the fireplace can serve as a reminder to nourish the flame that burns within us.

The energy of Winter can be likened to a seed. An acorn is not an oak tree; however, it contains the potential of becoming an oak tree. The potential of becoming is our destiny. With the hustle and bustle of holiday festivities we can become distracted by the outward goings-on and forget that the brilliant fire  within our hearts still needs to be stoked.

Time indoors can be used to feed that flame so that once spring rolls around we have nourished the spirit enough to pursue our goals and see our dream seeds take root.

Photo by Lindsay Anne Holt

Photo by Lindsay Anne Holt

Recipe: Gingerbread Man

This sweet and spicy brew is a wonderful sweet evening cuppa when the world outside is cold and grey.

Based on my moms gingerbread cookies recipe. Every holiday season she makes gingerbread cookies. The house fills with the scent of blackstrap molasses and ginger. My mom has only shared the secret spice mixture with me and I keep that proprietary in this blend...until now. 

Tip: To really invoke the magic of this brew, try  adding a thimble or two of molasses. Stir in well and a touch of cream is also a delightful.

  • 1 part Orange Peel

  • 1 part Allspice

  • 1 part Clove Bud

  • 1 part Pink Peppercorn

  • .5 parts Vanilla Bean

  • 3 parts Rooibos

  • 2 parts Ginger Root

  • 2 parts Sweet Cinnamon Chips

  • 1 part Candied Ginger 

  • 1 part Chicory

Winter Tea Meditation

One of my favorite way to enjoy a cup of tea is to get lost in the surface  reflections. I will watch as the sky, trees, birds & clouds become mirrored on the nectar's surface.  Sometimes I will gently tap the side of the cup to cause ripples that produce a shift in the perspective of the reflection.  You can do this simple meditation by sitting near a window and placing your cup on the window ledge. My preferred way is to bundle up and take my tea outside.

Another addition to this beautiful introspective meditation is to rest your gaze on your own reflection. If you position your cup just right, you can see yourself reflected on the surface of your tea. To see a reflection of yourself can bring up a myriad of emotions. A internal dialogue begins. Take a moment to sit with this. Dean Koontz wrote,

  “There’s just something unsettling about studying your reflection. It’s not a matter of being dissatisfied with your face or of being embarrassed by your vanity. Maybe it’s that when you gaze into your own eyes, you don’t see what you wish to see—or glimpse something that you wish weren’t there.”

Can you honor what you see in yourself?

Enjoy your inward time this season & may all your reflections be as beautiful & as authentic as you.

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