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Archive for the ‘Nature Spirits’ Category

Last year I didn’t get a garden in – the first year since we’ve lived in our house that I waited too long and missed the planting window.

This year I was determined to not let that happen again, and so this past weekend, in celebration of the coming spring (and of my birthday, which was on the 2nd) ((and of the last freeze date, which is March 1 here)) we put in the garden.

My main garden bed is 10×12, so I’m limited to that plus what I can grow in containers. This year the in-ground bed contains:

  • Tomatoes (6) (Celebrity hybrid, my best producer in years past)
  • Eggplant (2) (White Beauty hybrid)
  • Okra (6 hills) (Clemson Spineless)
  • Beans (3 rows) (Bush Blue Lake)
  • Dill (Fernleaf)
  • Parsley (Flat leaf)
  • Cilantro
  • Basil (Genovese)

I also totally re-did my container garden, with a heavy weight toward hot and sweet peppers, which do very well here in pots (they don’t like as much water as tomatoes and eggplant and beans, so if I plant them in the main bed, they tend to not produce much). In containers I have:

  • Rosemary
  • Peppermint
  • Sweet Yellow Banana Peppers (6)
  • Jalapenos (6)
  • Sugar snap peas (with a trellis)
  • Picklebush cucumbers (with a trellis)
  • Zucchini (compact variety, hoping that works in a pot)

I can’t plant curcurbits in the ground because of downy and powdery mildew here, so I am trying them in pots. If it works, hooray, and if not, I’m only out the cost of the seed packets and a big tomato cage.

It was a perfect weekend for planting. 55 degrees and cloudy, with a light breeze – cool enough to need a light jacket, but hopefully also to help keep tiny seedlings from getting too stressed. My parents were in town to help with the garden, so it was a community effort, and quite fun. I got dirt under my fingernails and in my hair, and it was glorious.

At the end of the day, we grilled our dinner, and I made a burned offering of various herbs and resins to the fire, as a blessing for my newly replanted garden. I always try to make offerings to the fire when I can, and I’m planning a formal ritual for the gardens where I will take the blessings in return for the offerings I make, and pour them out over the plants (probably in the form of a watering can 🙂 ). The spirits of my garden tend to respond very well to poured offerings of various kinds as well (they’ve received everything from wine to cider to goats milk mixed with kahlua).

If all of this does well, I will be drowning in produce come May, which is exactly how I want it to be. I’ll make salsa and pickles and eat fresh warm tomatoes with fresh basil and olive oil and salt.

 

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Lately I’ve been running into waterbirds all over the place. There have been herons and egrets when I go on my walks near the waterway, I’ve seen cranes and herons in my meditations (especially at my mental grove), and I’ve been dreaming of cranes and flying.

Not sure exactly what to make of it all. Obviously there’s a trend.

Waterbirds like herons and cranes are liminal birds – they exist on land, sea, and sky, and thus cross the ways between the three worlds. They are associated with watchfulness, balance, and wisdom. They can be messengers, or just representatives of higher states of consciousness. They are usually solitary birds and can be symbols of independence as well.

Of course, all that is very interesting, but I’m not sure exactly what it means for me to keep encountering them. Usually when I have  a string of similar encounters, it means something is trying to get my attention, but in this case I’m not sure exactly what that might be.

I did some extended meditations on the subject this week, and found that my brain was very scattered when I tried to focus on them. I could return to the breath and be centered again, but every time I tried to look directly at or through a crane/heron/egret, I’d end up with a flood of images in my mind, from standing (one foot on land, one foot in the water), to flying, to hunting, kind of like I was getting all of the experiences of a heron in my mind all at the same time. It was a little disconcerting, since I was trying to focus or get a good look at what I was seeing in my meditation, and it just ended up all over the place.

Maybe that’s the message – that I’m too scattered right now? I can’t put my finger on any explanation that feels satisfactory.

Maybe I just have cranes on the brain.

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