January is over. Good. It’s the first day of the month of February. And Imbolc. About halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox.
As I’ve mentioned before, I really struggle with winter. Many of us do.
This year I’ve found it more of a struggle than it usually is. Many of us have.
A comforting thing, something I’m really glad I did, really focused attention on, was the gathering in of the bounty of the garden in summer and autumn, in various ways.
Rose petals, calendula and lemon balm, bergamot (monarda), and mint.
The rose petals are a particular joy, in the depths of winter. Just unscrewing the top of the jar and breathing in the scent.
Not all rose petals would work, as not all are strongly scented. I gathered petals from Mme Isaac Pereire, from faded flowers just before they fell. A rose I’ve had for many years, she’s pictured here in 2004 in my old Turning Earth pages.
Not included in the collection pictured above, as not stored in jars, but carefully dried and then stored in the freezer — hop cones.
They’re from a variety of golden-leaved hop. I’ve had the plant in the garden for so long, for decorative effect, and as a climber to cover boundaries. (A photo of the beautiful new leaves of the golden hop, May 2001, from my old Turning Earth website.) But only this winter using its dried hops to make a tea. Amazed by the comfortingly soporific effects. Always something to learn from the power of plants.