New Life from the Frozen Ground
There’s another storm moving in. The river’s just got back to a nearly normal level, and the nights have been bitterly cold. Rhiannon is outside dancing for snow, because like most Southwestern children, she never tires of the fun of fluffy, wet white stuff falling out a cool, dark sky. Surely an unusual and beautiful sight in a dry land. The so far abundant moisture this cold season is sure to help provide a colorful spring of wildflowers, and perhaps will even see some Mexican Poppies along the roadside a bit further south, always an exciting treat.
I’ve been amusing myself by using a pick-axe and rock bar to dig a much needed new outhouse hole through the frozen red ground and sparkly rocks. The blisters are unpleasant, but I’ve gotten to prove the effectiveness of my Wild Rose Elixir yet again on them. Wolf has been collecting several cords of cut firewood, and Loba’s been chopping it down to size between cooking and teaching Rhiannon her schoolwork. I’ve been re-writing my intake form and the beginning section of my herbal curriculum. I’m mostly caught up with my Medicine Woman Core course, but I keep expanding the herbal one. I do hope to have it done tomorrow though!
One warmer morning this week, I dug a medium sized Redroot plant from an Agave studded mountainside. Up the hill from me, a small herd of the rarely seen Mule Deer browsed and played among the rocks. Thanks to sun-warmed wet ground, I was able to dig the plant with just a pick-axe rather than using a rock bar, a relief to me (and probably the plant too). As I pulled it free of the last rocks, I was so pleased to see the scarlet red roots, and to breathe in the rich wintergreen scent it gave off. Even its core was a fine pink color, a good sign of its strength as a medicine. Later that day, I gathered a handful of fresh silver tips of the Wild Mugwort sprouting up everywhere to slowly chew and savor. A bitter experience, but a pleasant one. There’s something special about tasting wild plants in winter, about the intense flavor of fresh life from the frozen ground. From the sleep of darkness grows insistent, vital life.