Saddled up with our rain gear we venture out in the rain. There is an adventure to be had wherever we go in all the elements provided. Children love it all and find the joy in everything. Rain, puddles and mud is a great recipe for fun, fun, fun! Through them I learn to be in the moment and to be present to what is presented to me in the now. The children in my life are my little buddhas always showing me the way, always bringing me closer to what's important. To me what's important is forming caring, loving relationships that bring me closer to my core.
"Mommy look I am making mud" - Owen 4
Elodie revels in puddles. She is captivated and runs back in forth in her own world or self discovery.
When people gather around food a festive space is created and that is exactly what we did this Tuesday when neighbors from The Center Town Community came together for a Potluck at Dundonald Park. We had great food, great conversation and great fun! What I enjoyed the most was seeing all the children playing and running around like free spirits.
Please join us again in two weeks. Together let's build community, learn from one another and support the people who form this wonderful neighborhood. Spread the word, all are welcome.
Let me introduce you to plantain (Plantago Major) which I like to call mother nature's band aid. My children have become very familiar with it. Whenever we are out and someone falls and scrapes a knee they go foraging for a leaf, chew it and put it on the wound. It's astringent properties aid as a mild anti-inflammatory and antibacterial. Last week while we were at McNabb park (we go there often now that it's sunny) we collected plantain leaves to make our plantain salve.
We filled up a glass jar full of the precious leaves.
Once the jar was full of the green stuff we topped it up with olive oil. Now the jar is sitting on our kitchen shelf and will stay there for 6 weeks. Once it's incubation period is over we will strain the leaves from the oil and mix the plantain infused oil with bees wax to make a wonderful salve to use all year round. This salve will hold all the goodness of plantain. It will nurture our cuts, wounds, rashes and dry skin. Thank you mother Earth. We will blog our salves journey so stay tuned!
If you ever want to spruce up a salad pick 20-30 plantain leaves from your lawn and cut them into your salad yummy, fresh and nutritious!
Another favorite activity of ours is rolling and running down hills! Have you tried that lately? It's quite fun. Have a great one! Green Blessings to you and yours, Annie Bananie
The enchantment of spring is upon me. This season of magic brings my spirit out of darkness and towards new beginnings of hope and rebirth. As the plants unfurl so does my soul. I am dazzled by it’s power over me. This winter felt heavy and dark and now with the arrival of spring I feel light and free. The rhythm of the Earth lives within me, I change with her.
This weekend I was honored to be invited to a most wonderful herb walk in the woods of Lac St. Antoine. Lac St. Antoine is 12 km from Wakefield Quebec and hosts a lovely community of people who love living in the serene landscape of the hills, lakes and streams. The beauty that surrounds them brings me to peace.
Linda Deere of the Iroquois tribe shared with us her knowledge of the wild plants that surround the area. From the beginning I got a sense that this tradition was not only founded on knowledge but a respect for the Earth. A deep rooted connection that's been verbally passed on from generation to generation since the beginning of time. We gathered around a fire and began with a cleansing ceremony called smudging. If you are unfamiliar with smudging it's a cleansing ritual that cleanses the body and spirit from unwanted negative energy. It is believed that healing can begin once we are cleared from what does not serve us. In this ritual sweet grass a wild herb found in certain areas in North America was used. It was burned in a big shell and it's smoke was waved towards the person with an eagle's feather. While being smudged we brushed the smoke over our head, throat heart and under the feet. The head represents ridding of unwanted thought, the throat being truthful with our word, heart ridding it of fears and creating a space for understanding and love. The feet symbolizes where we are going.
Interestingly women who were in their moon cycle stepped away from the circle during this ceremony as they are considered to be in a cleansing state. After smudging we were presented with a pinch of tobacco as an offering to the plant life. What an amazing lesson of giving and receiving.
At the beginning of the walk we were introduced to plantain, a plant that I am sure you are familiar with. It grows in your lawn, through the cracks in side walks, virtually everywhere you find grass. It`s also been known as the white man's foot as it was said to be found wherever the feet touch. It can be identified by it's 4-10 long smooth, thick, strong and fibrous leaves that has 3-7 or more ribbed veins. Linda applied some leaves onto Mia's psoriasis. In order to extract the medicine the leaves were pounded with a mortar and pestle. It can be used on cuts, skin rashes and more. It's also an edible plant and delicious in salads. It's rich in vit. B1 and riboflavin. The rest of the day we identified plants such as Wild Asparagus, Wild Garlic, Violets, Ginger, Burdock, Carolina Spring Beauty and more.
Walking through the woods made me think (I do that a lot, think). Most of the vegetables I eat are planted by man. Here in the forest grows thousands of plants that are here because they want to be. They are untreated by pesticides and if made into a tea or put into a salad have great nutritional and medicinal value. Mother earth really does provide for us!
The night of the walk I couldn't fall asleep as I had visions of dancing plants. Jen I know what you meant that night long ago!
It was an amazing day and I learned so much. I always leave herb walks inspired to learn more. Thank you Linda for your wisdom and presence. Also thanks to all who attended you all brought something to my day!
I could go on and on but it's 11:15 p.m. and I must go to bed. I hope that I said enough to get your curiosity going. Stay tuned as I will soon be blogging on how to make a plantain salve to have handy for those bites, cuts and scrapes our little ones always seem to get. I thank all of you who are reading my entries. I am having a lot of fun and I hope you are too! Good night...
Harvesting Wild Garlic
The Little Plant In the heart of a seed Buried deep so deep A dear little plant lay fast asleep “Wake!” said the voice of the raindrop bright And the little plant heard and it rose to see. What the wonderful outside world might be.
"We honor the winds , that bring the waters, to the sun, for providing heat that makes the plant life grow. " and excerpt from Linda's handout
Celebrating mothers day with yoga and wet felting was great fun! Thank you Rama Lotus for giving us the opportunity to delve into our creative beings. Thank you Tania for guiding us through a fun yoga class! You truly do inspire big and small! Last but not least thanks to all the moms and children who were able to join us. It was truly inspiring to be in a room full of mother's and children!
Wet felting is the art of taking raw wool, warm water, soap and friction to create a piece of felt. It is an old tradition dating back thousands of years. Historically and in different cultures felt making was used to make clothing, yurt roofs, boots, carpets and more. It is versatile and so much fun!!!! Below you will find the directions for wet felting your very own wall hanging.
Wet felting a wall hanging is a gradual process that I will break down into 6 easy steps. Things you will need: Wool batting Carded wool Soap Warm water Bubble wrap Towel Creativity
Step 1-Layering the wool Put your sheet of bubble wrap down (bubbles facing up), now you are ready for step 1, making your base. To create your base you will have to separate your batting into thin layers. Approximately 6-7 layers should suffice. To avoid holes in your work make sure that you cannot see through your layers. Add wool to areas you feel are too thin. Step 2 - Being creative Now the fun part! Take thin pieces of carded wool or batting and create your design. Please make sure to spread the wool on your base evenly as clumps will not felt together. Step 3 - Wetting it down Take an empty bottle (dish soap bottles work will for this). Begin by filling your bottle with warm water and add 3 tbs of natural dish soap. Sprinkle your soapy solution onto your work. Depending on your project you might have to fill your bottle up a few times. You are done once the wool is completely wet.
Step 4 - Binding the fibers together The felting process is gradual. To begin place a sheet of bubble wrap (bubble face down) onto your work. With your hands press down onto the fibers. You will notice that this process begins the felting process. Once you've pressed onto your work roll your art work into the bubble wrap (like rolling up a newspaper) and towel. Gently roll your masterpiece back and forth. Unroll your work after 5 minutes and give it a check and see that all the fibers are where you want them. Roll it all back up and keep rolling! As the fibers bind together begin to roll back and forth more vigorously. If it seems like your work will never felt don`t give up! You will know that your work is done when you can no longer pull the fibers away from your each other.
Step 5- Rinse Congradulations you`ve felted your fisrt piece of felt now you are ready to rinse it in cold water. As you rinse gently wring the cloth to felt it a little more. Dry on a flat surface.
Step 6 -Hang your art piece by sewing a dowel behind your art piece and voila you are done!
My dishes went unwashed today. I didn’t make my bed. I took his hand and followed where his eager footsteps led. Oh yes, we went adventuring My little child and I. Exploring all the great outdoors, Beneath the sun and sky.
We watched the robin feed her young. We climbed a sunlit hill. Saw cloud-sheep scamper through the sky, We plucked a daffodil.
That my house was so neglected, That I didn’t brush the stairs, In twenty years no one on earth Will know or even care.
But that I helped my little child To noble adulthood grow, In twenty years the whole wide world May look and see and know.