New Moon Prayer Week in reflection and gratitude, assessment and joy as 2020 becomes a memory. I meditate on symbols. Mandala, Chakra, The Eye of Ra, Om. Jordan Maxwell has a great video on the Gaia channel on YouTube, “The Ancient Symbols we still Use Today.”
The last of my planting in the ground – Echinacea, Wormwood, Lavender, Pleurisy Root, Red Milkweed, my deck is bare awaiting holiday decoration. I could not sleep Wednesday morning after Marc left for the 4:30 train. It wasn’t until Thursday I realized I was excited to be planting at Seed Song, which was why I couldn’t sleep. Like a child with a new toy, the excitement of the natural world never ends.
So much disaster, plague and unrest, it takes a minute to remember the marvelous moments of the season. Milestones planting Cabbage, a delivery of hay, planting Garlic, those moments to remind oneself of a job well done. Tough season to be sure. July heat was relentless here in the Northeast and we all (plants, animals, insects, rocks) are exhausted. An ending of a world and if the top three don’t get one, Mother it seems, could just wear us out. I am happy the season draws to a close, ready for a long Winter’s nap.
We now sit just under a week away from election day (the end of the world). I was enraged the other day, realizing “whitefolks, we are so done with you all. We know longer have to revere you, or even hold you in respect, or stand for your relentless oppression. We can return to our cultures and make our own way now.” It wasn’t until the white woman I flipped off at the toll booth stopped her car in front of me on the Rhinebeck/Kingston bridge that I realized I could manifest that rage anywhere out there. Once the cars behind me started to lean on their horns, she was on her way. Abraham said it best:
So, you could be on a high-flying disc that feels like love and appreciation;
or you could be on a low-flying disc that feels like ornery. And if you’re wondering
what disc you’re on, just notice the people around you. If they are ornery, that’s the
disc you are on. And if they are on your disc, that is your point of attraction.
Excerpted from Orlando, FL on 1/11/14
Esther (Abraham and Jerry)
We are angry, yes, and we are expressing ourselves, yes, but can you hear us? For me, we may never have respected you, but Donald Trump becoming president, was the moment in my lifetime, where I knew, if I ever did admire you, it ended there. It is time blackfolks, to look out for ourselves. We are in a hostile environment and we should not support those who do not support us. Now, in the black community “those” could be our own family. I became an orphan when I left home at nineteen because I was not doing what my parents wanted me to do. My life laid elsewhere. I was cast to the wind to find my way.
It seems I’ve found something. Apothecary, consultant, edible landscaper, teacher, a life of work that can keep me engaged and active. My mantra these days is “take the journey.” It feels good, it feels right. I now have experience. I am versed in the ways of the plants (Spirit). My gift to offer the world. Ten years out in the field. My Plant Family has home.
We have planted two beds of Garlic at SDG. I didn’t get my seven bunches this season with the new members. Once planted, we cover the beds with hay. The plan is to cover all the beds with hay to close out the season.
I got in Echinacea at Hiddenbrooke and mulched the bed with hay. I also got in Wormwood, which curiously grew in clumps and not upright like I remember them at Groundwork. I will look up Wormwood next season to make medicine.
At White Pine I planted Lavender, Pleurisy Root and Red Milkweed. I want to make Lavender infused oil next season. Red Milkweed and Pleurisy Root are my native experimental plants. I began my experimental phase at Groundwork when I got to see them grow. Our natives are over run by invasives so it is very hard to get them before they are overtaken. Recently I learned that Pleurisy Root grows later in the Spring and can be overtaken by “weeds” by then. My Plant Family in the ground, I have more time for maintenance to help these family members along. Eeeee! I nurtured Skullcap this season and got a quart of tincture. My pleasure! I planted Red Milkweed at SDG, but never got them – overtaken by Goldenrod. Again, not enough time for maintenance. Red Milkweed attracts insects. I have had a wonderful time gazing at the insects Wild Bergamot attracts (the Humming Bee amongst them!) making space for pollinators has become part of the work.
At Seed Song I planted Ostrich Fern, Echinacea, Pleurisy Root and Red Milkweed. There were Day Lilies to plant, but we did not get to them. It is a joy to imagine the work with these plants next season in this moment. The evolution of my herbal self!
I have not made a living, but I have made a life. Ben Schwartz (White Pine) and Creek Iverson (Seed Song) are my heroes journeying on through trials and displacement, amazing activists along the way. Fourteen years upstate and here are my allies with big land. Five of us – Jalal Sabur and Michelle Johnson, three of us BIPOC, it’s time to look out for one another. Have something to show for our time. It is an honor to have walked this journey together. Here is our stand, there’s nowhere else to go, nowhere to run. We make time with Earth.
I missed all of my meetings this month, an inadvertent mental health break. I feel better now. We must take care of our mental health here at the end of this world. There are very few of us that can remember the 1919 Influenza Pandemic, but we should gather the stories and soldier on. I was fed up with masks the day we were asked to put them on, but I see the wisdom now. New York is no longer the epicenter, we’ll take it. Unfortunately, Ron DeSantis, Governor of Florida opened the whole state a few weeks ago. I may not be going home for Thanksgiving, not to mention how crazy would it be for a black couple to drive a white Suburban with New York plates down South after the election?
The rest of the world is astonished by our inability to manage coronavirus. We are no longer welcome in the rest of the world. Our travel is limited, stay in place. Stunning really. And lets not get started on the economic fallout, which no one is talking about. And yet we have one another to hold us and to hold. A wonderful woman, Twinkle has organized a BIPOC women’s group. Long overdue in Beacon. Who even knew it was possible! I have largely walked this path (black, herbalist, grower) alone content to be unsung as long as I could stay in the work. The journey is long and rewarding and I am shy by nature so suits me fine. After all these years, I am thankful for support and I look forward to meeting with these beautiful women over the months.
The season winds down. Time to close up the gardens and nap. Visions of next season dance in my head. My high holidays begin with Halloween. Looking forward to good food and great company. Joy, love and peace to you all. Normal has changed drastically, but with courage and faith, we can walk into the future hand in hand knowing that Spirit is with us. Ache!