When I was a child, in August I would grab the salt shaker and head outside to visit the cherry tomato patch on a hot day. I've been thinking about eating those warm fruits a lot this month. I think it has less to do with that wonderful memory of salty tasting tomatoes popping in my mouth than about yearning for the simplicity that is a child's life. I feel like I can issue the next sentence and just about everyone will nod their heads and I can hit the publish button. I feel like the world is imploding. But I won't end this post. I will say that it's been a hard summer to put myself out in the world for monetary gains when there are so many suffering; Ennui--
is a word I've seen used by several and it is exactly how I've been feeling. I will say I have several times wanted to post my thoughts here, but what can a middle class, white woman add to the conversation that doesn't sound trite? I will say I long for simple days when I was a child (I think many do). However, the problems of today were definitely at the forefront of the sixties when I was a little one. I was just a blissfully unaware child. I feel that a lot of the problem right now is that this nation has been making a choice to be blissfully unaware of continuing strife and a build up of hatred for quite some time.
Longing for a simpler time when you were that unaware child is fine. Acting like there is any sort of possibility to go back to that time once your eyes are open is becoming a huge problem. Meeting those people that want to do just that, talking to people of color about their experiences, hearing the media give voice to the hatred of these situations makes me long for simpler, tomato eating days. It doesn't mean I am ignoring what is happening in the world. But this summer I couldn't smile and put face lotions up for sale on my site. I've been making lots of nourishing products. I've just been selling and giving them away locally. I've actually seen a few old friends I hadn't seen in years show up at my door on recommendation to buy healing salves. That is exactly what I want the Chicken Coop to be. Chicken Coop Botanicals (the Etsy store) is definitely open, but new items have not been added for a while. In fact this summer seemed like a good opportunity to move forward with some revamping, rebranding and a new website (all coming soon). I've been spending a lot of time in the garden (my solace when I just need to think the hard thoughts), a lot of time learning about and with new plants, taking classes and planning for some that I will be teaching.
I hate to keep up on the Election, it's so ugly this time around. But it is tied to the growing anger in communities so all of us must listen to at least a little of it. Be aware! Even if you live in a place that doesn't experience riots, killings and hate crimes you need to open your eyes and look around...none of us live in that community anymore. In (extremely white) Portland, Or. a Latino man gets pulled over when he is driving with his two young children for a made up reason (a non-working turn signal, which did work). If he hadn't known the law exactly and how to speak to that police officer exactly he would have been dead. When he told me about that and asked what I thought I could only say I agree that there is a major problem with profiling, with police making decisions about people based on their own racism. I couldn't possibly know what it was he felt when he asked that officer to take his hand off his gun in front of his 5 and 7 year olds. But it made him much more comfortable talking to me knowing I wanted to hear what was happening out there, to him and others. Here on this sleepy mountain I have heard people spew their hateful thoughts on just about anything; like telling someone, they don't know, how fat they look in a pair of pants (I have heard that particular story happen to two different friends in different places). Donald Trump gives permission to this kind of word dump. I don't know if it will go away after the election. It hurts my heart to hear all of it, large and small situations. But I am listening. I am having conversations with people. Our country is not in need of dumping money into a problem (that's part of the problem). We are in need of listening to each other. Being willing to be open not attack or judge what we can't understand. There may come a day when you do need to stand with a large group at a rally or a riot. Which side will you be on? What if our listening could prevent those events from happening?
I've been taking Rose in a lot of different variations this summer:) Whether an Eylixr, lip balm, face cream or stopping to smell the roses they are calming, cooling, uplifting. I can feel the changes coming as the season begins to shift (the wheel is ever turning) and have a craving for elderberries, asian pears and the spicy parts that make up a Fire Cider. On a recent camping trip I realized just how much I miss the comfort of sitting next to a warm fire. Staring into the coals gives me such a feeling of security (Fire sign here). I've also been reading the words of others, many like me that are trying to find our role in what is happening in this country and much of the world. I was heartened by this, this and this article.
I finally realized that it isn't necessary for me to come to this blog to give some sort of solution (cause I have none) to a huge problem that has always been here and is now being made worse, but not say how I felt was just as bad as pretending nothing was going on. I have been heart broken over the lack of uprising by events happening in this country; in the world. We have bigger problems in the world with the effects of global changes happening in an ever quickening manner. We should be coming together not tearing each other apart. The only way that I can get unstuck from my shock and pain over what is happening is to go outside, take a deep breath and look up at Hunchback mountain and give gratitude for every small thing in life I can think of. Just writing about how I feel is helping me to move forward. You may actually here more from me than a few pictures on Instagram from here on out. There are so many plants I have been working with lately I'd like to tell you about. But I do need to use this space as a way to get more people into a conversation. What is needed in your own community? Get off the computer and go find out.