true sound


We are officially in Phase 2 of reopening here in southeastern Washington, and while I am looking forward to doing some things we haven't done for a long time, just getting out into the wild is a sublime thing. 

The evening we went to the river in these pictures, I put on my rubber boots and straw hat, took my camera, and wandered through an undiscovered wood.  I foraged, sniffed, gazed, and touched.  I took in textures and colors, shadows and sparkles.  Perhaps most importantly, I listened.  

I've been doing a deep dive back through years of posts here and seeing how my relationship with nature and the elements has given me so much.  I hope I have been a good steward and that I have given back as much as I have been given.  Listening, which for me is also feeling, has been a constant theme and, paradoxically, a guiding light.  

I've been thinking a lot about the essay by Jay Griffiths I posted about last November, but also about acoustic ecologist Gordon Hempton's Sanctuaries of Silence, which I first heard on the Emergence Magazine podcast and then later watched the film.  Highly sensitive types love silence, and I am no exception, but by silence I mean no human sounds.  Gordon Hempton defines silence not as the absence of sound but the absence of noise from modern life.  Can I get a yes?  I feel this deeply when I'm out in the wild and it's one of the reasons I love it so much.  For me this is true sound - sound free of human static.  Hempton's work and projects are so wonderful.  The last link below is excellent and talks about several of them, if you are interested.  

Some links you might enjoy

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

We Need an NRA for Nature.  

What Hangs On Trees.


Silence and the Presence of Everything.

Until next time ~ x

in full bloom


Happy May Day!  Today is Beltane, one of the Celtic fire festivals, and it celebrates light and fertility, feasts and flowers ... the turning of the wheel.  Directly across from Samhain (Halloween), it is also day when the veil is thought to be very thin.  It is halfway between spring equinox and summer solstice.  The days are longer.  The fertility of the earth is in full bloom. 

Last night I lit candles and burned incense, my small version of a Beltane Eve bonfire.  I gazed at waxing Grandmother Moon and thought about the feminine influences in my life, grateful for each one.  

Early this morning I went for a long walk.  The sun shone brightly, warming my face.  I brought sprigs of parsley, mint, and thyme from our garden and picked buttercups and weeds along the path, tying them up with grass and offering them to the pond on the way, sending them floating across the surface while a chorus of birds and frogs filled my ears.  At the base of my favorite tree, I left a mandala of dandelion, dock, purple dead nettle, and milky oats, things so precious to me, gifts of spring.  Once home, I tucked some more nasturtium and wildflower seeds into the earth.  

I made a pesto of parsley, mint, and purple dead nettle from our yard for lunch.  For dinner we will have asparagus from a farmer a mile or so up the road.  After, we will light candles and have a drink on the patio as the sun sets.    

The earth is singing.  I will close my eyes and listen.  



As I write this, I am listening to my son play the piano in the next room, a song that I loved playing when I took lessons at his age.  I am thinking about how much, despite being in a pandemic, I have loved all our extra time together as a family.

Thor has been in online school for several weeks now, and while he is doing well with that, the isolation is tough for him.  He already felt confined in this small town, and now he feels trapped.   But, we are so grateful that my husband is able to work from home full time, we have access to good, healthy food (and I'm able to do weekly grocery shopping for my parents, which means I see them from afar weekly), and since we live on the edge of a small town, getting outside to bike or run or walk while keeping away from people is pretty easy.  However, I know that we are very fortunate when so many are suffering right now, and I don't take any of our privilege for granted.

Last weekend on Easter, my husband watched mass, as he does every Sunday (we have a non-denominational home, but my husband has Catholic leanings), while I made cinnamon rolls.  The night before, the three of us dyed eggs using a variety of things, including turmeric, blueberries, mint, spinach, purple cabbage, and avocado skins.  Natural is beautiful. 

We've been planting starts and seeds in our tiny backyard garden, but also out at my sister's place in hopes of a larger harvest this year to put up stores for the year to come.  But this year's harvest has already begun - I've gathered and dried nettles foraged on my morning walks, and I've cut back one of our rosemary and have two full quart jars.  (I'm also taking an online herbalism mini-course for more inspiration.)  After finally finding a recipe I like, I've been making whole-wheat sandwich sourdough every week.  This is usually topped with sprouted lentils, which are in heavy rotation right now and making me want to sprout all the things.  

Sewing is a balm right now.  I love a project.  I made 25 masks for a local sewing shop that is giving them to the VA, the local hospital, and the local markets.  Even though it was small, it felt like something I could do for my town during this time.  I've made two tops recently from a $3 thrifted pattern and scraps of fabric thrifted over the years.  My goal is to have a closet more full of handmade things than not in the future.  And, it just feels really good to work with my hands, to make useful and purposeful things. 

These are things are things we've done for quite some time to some degree, but right now they feel so much more comforting, and so much more urgent.  Ideas we've talked about in the past don't seem so "someday" now, and I'm ready to make them happen.  Is it spring?  Is it the pandemic?  I don't know, but I feel on fire to make the most of this time, our resources, and those "someday" ideas.  Growing more of our own food, living as low-waste as we can, and showing compassion and love to all ... these are the seeds I want to plant.

I'll take the simpler, slower life any day, the days that smell like homemade bread and homegrown herbal teas simmering on the stove, the days that resonate with family togetherness and decisions that benefit not only us but Mother Earth.   
by mlekoshi