Here are some scraps from the quilt of my summer, from days of heat and then of fog, light evenings even in the forest, the bounty of this dry-land, gone already to its drought-season, with the buckeyes starting to loose their leaves.... These are some highlights, some patchwork-bits of joy, amidst the everyday ups and downs that we all sail. I am trying to make a practice of honoring said everyday joys, and the great peace that comes of making small things by hand—medicine, felt, knitting—instead of getting too caught up in the whirlwind-stress of to-do's and emails and deadlines and rent-checks, which I am not often so good at...! So, a few quilt-squares:
A pile of Gray Fox Epistles, with a cup of tea, ready to be made into beautiful parcels out on the back deck in the firwood, where the pacific wren watches with his gnome-elf face and the woodpeckers cackle and drum.
A tall jar of Bavarian cough syrup, which I learned to make from herbalism teacher Catherine Abby Rich— layers of lung herbs for winter, from comfrey to plaintain to sage to redwood tips to mullein leaves, hyssop, rosemary, bougainivillea, with brown sugar and lemon slices between.
A handsome quail-man singing in the coastal scrub of Point Reyes, showing us his beautiful top-knot.
A precious nest of goldfinch eggs tucked deep into the coyote brush, while on a mission with fellow trackers to find signs of the elusive Point Reyes Mountain Beaver. I got teary at the tender miracles of those eggs, and apologized profusely to the mother goldfinch who I accidentally (like a good blundering human) scared off her nest. I do so dearly hope those beautiful eggs are now healthy and hatched to sweet young goldfinch souls learning the ways of the goldfinch-world.
Huge artichoke-thistle head bigger than my hand, what purple to lose your heart to!
A smooth-wheeled cart amidst the yellow cats-ear flowers...
near a friend's little cottage where my brother recorded his own album out in the Chileno Valley of cow and gold-hill and wind.
Circles of redwood trees, to lay amidst, back to earth, hair full of needles, dizzy in the spires of those trunks.
Another story-case for Epistles, coyote-brush dyed, tied up with velvet ribbon.
And perhaps the most exciting thing of all (to me!), my very first batch of elderberry elixir, from an elder tree down the road, elderflowers up the hill and over the ridge, honey, and brandy, made from the recipe of the magnificent Kiva Rose.
But then of course there are the blackberries, ripe a tad early this year. My love and I went berry-gathering a few days ago, and stayed out in the thickets till evening fell, in that most delicious of blackberry trances, so focused on the black sweet sun-full fruits under our fingers, the thorns, the next bunch almost in reach, that the whole world fell away and we were only this— body, breath, laughter, berry-juice, thorn-scratch, transcendent sweetness on the tongue. Really, what could be better? Really, what does a body crave more of a summer eve than to stand in the berries, hands out, fingers a whirlwind of picking, mind at ease?