Friday, December 21, 2018

Happy Solstice

Sunrise on the Winter Solstice 2015.
May Light find you in the depths of your Darkness.
May you arise from Darkness renewed, refreshed, reborn.

Festival of Lights
The Sun appears to stand still on these days surrounding the Solstice. For several days, the Light does not appear to grow. But it does. In the far North, night is 24 hours long on this day. But it turns around quickly up there. This is a Turning Point.

Today the seeds of Summer are sown even though the Earth appears still and dormant. Within the soil Seeds prepare for their Spring transformation; Roots grow until the soil freezes.

As much as we can, let us use this time of Stillness in Nature to bring Stillness into our own lives, during which the Seeds we have planted change and transform so that they may put down roots into earth and stretch up shoots to the light -- all at the proper time. This Stillness in Winter also allows us to put down Roots in spiritual contemplation, in strengthening relationships with friends and family, in Being more who we truly are.

And on this Winter Solstice night we'll see a Full Moon -- double the light.

May you find strength, peace and joy on this Solstice and on any other holiday/holy day you desire to celebrate at this time and any time. May each day in your life be a holy day.

And the Wheel turns.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Beauty is in the Eye...

The structure of this lettuce plant became more apparent as we harvested leaves.
Our front room, which I have recently taken to calling the "Green Room," is filled with life. Green plants, from little sprouts to small trees, sit on shelves and line the walls. Most of these plants spent their summer outside, on the front porch, where they are happy and healthy.

The room, which is rarely used in the summer when it is devoid of green life, has become one of our favorite hangout spots. The plants provide beauty and oxygen. And most of them are food, seasoning or medicine.

The food and medicine plants have ornamental value, as well. Some vegetables have beautiful forms and colors. The Swiss chard's glossy green leaves and white stems and veins add a robust aura to the collection of plants. The lettuces also provided ornamental value. In these photos you can see the beautiful structure of the Batavian-type lettuce plant, even after we'd removed many leaves. Batavian lettuces are, in my opinion, among the most beautiful in form, while others delight with their colors.
Few flowers can exceed the beauty of this Batavian lettuce
plant's architecture.

During a warm day (upper 40s) last week I cut all of my radicchio because I was not confident that they would survive the harsh cold much longer. Two plants did not have heads of a size worth harvesting, but they were in much better shape than some of the other small plants. So I dug them up, pulled off ugly leaves, put them into pots and set them under the lights in my green room. These varieties of radicchio have beautiful colors, and will add additional color and form to my collection of edibles, if they thrive.

Also among the edibles/seasonings are a couple of pots of garlic for harvesting their greens, the chard, a bay tree, two curry leaf trees, dittany of Crete (medicine, tea, seasoning), aloe (medicine), and some little pots in which I've started more Batavian lettuce and Extra Dwarf bok choy, hoping they will reach ornamental and edible proportions. Along with these a number of half flats  contain various microgreens, some of which are brilliantly colored (I'll talk about microgreens in a future post).

Utility can be beautiful. Don't be afraid of growing vegetables in your living room.