We recently watched the moon blush its salmon shades while we enjoyed pumpkin soup and cornbread with neighbors. I remember reflecting upon the last time I witnessed such a lunar event: we were in the Big House, and I was in the moonlit barn awaiting a goat kid to come into the world. Appropriately, I named the doeling Luna.
It feels like a hundred years ago, a different lifetime. Because now I am here in my small cottage home, with new friends and soup mugs cupped into full hands, but the barns are empty and my milkcans are gathering dust from some forgotten place in the garage. How things change from one moon to another.
I’m not sure how I feel about it. Sometimes I am happy, usually when the fire is roaring in the woodstove, the sourdough bread is baking, and the children are all working on their schoolwork or Legos or attitudes. But sometimes I am simply just moving forward, as through mud. The seasons are unfamiliar to me now. Spring was a time of drowning in milk and cheese. Autumn was a time of preparing farm and fields for winter. Now…what? It is simply a time of waiting. As between moons.
Last week, I managed to get the soil turned over, and the rows hoed, and the fava beans planted. With every pick I thought of Jackie Clay, of starting over, of her admonitions to just do what I could, to move forward. Even if it’s an hour a day. Even if it’s a few feet at a time. Even if it’s through mud. One woman to another, cheering me on. I believe her when she says I am strong enough.
I have hopes. I have plans. I want to plant all the herbs I left in my Big House garden, and more. I want to have a ridiculous amount of culinary and medicinal herbs growing so that I can be ridiculously generous. I think, maybe someday I’ll teach my herb classes from my own garden. Maybe someday I’ll have my own garden. Even so, today, I can at least make soup. Invite neighbors. Appreciate the night sky.
I was thinking of these things today as I was making my daily infusion. An infusion is, basically, extracting the properties of herbs into whatever you like, in this case, boiling water. I find it sort of meditative (thus combining round moons and round pumpkins and round cupped hands and mugs…). The daily infusion is one thing that gets me through the day. My current favorite is a combination of nettle (strengthening), oatstraw (calming), and red clover (sweet…as in I need to BE sweet). Sometimes I add a bit of hawthorn if my heart feels sick, or a touch of rose if I need a hug. I let it all steep until the jar is the temperature I like, and then strain. I like to add a little lavender honey, and drink it throughout the morning in between spelling tests and vacuuming and nursing.
I have other “daily infusions”, too. Like my Bible study, making my bed, a daily walk. I enjoy pulling a letter or two from the mailbox, and reading funny little stories to my toddlers. It’s not so bad, the waiting times. Little daily infusions stir up courage and grace….and every now and then it’s uplifting to watch the moon with friends, too.