Lately I’ve been taking my walks up into the forest rather than along the road. One might wonder why I would ever choose road over forest and the answer is actually rather simple. The forest goes up, really up, and the road runs next to a delightful mountain creek.
But the exercise of going up, up, up has proven to be quite beneficial for me, and the medicine of the forest itself is powerful. Indeed, the woods are lush with herbal medicine, which I think speaks to the true nature of the forest. There’s blue cohosh, ginseng, wild ginger, mountain mint, bloodroot, and mayapples. And besides all that, the pileated woodpeckers are announcing their presence constantly, with drumming and vocals, which is particularly meaningful for me, as I have a thing for pileated woodpeckers.
So I’ve been feeling great. And it’s been raining a lot, which is also a good thing. My garden is doing great, and I’ve lots of projects on hand to keep me busy. I must transplant the multitudes of motherwort and skullcap that have sprouted up! And prepare a few new places near the house for planting herbs and flowers! And now’s the time for basil and squash and tomatoes and all their friends. Plus I still have about twelve heartsease (johnny jump ups) to plant in assorted spots throughout the garden. Sunday I planted something like thirty-six of the cheery flowers. Ahhh. Clearly, I need to take pictures.
Today I did not work in the garden. I went to Asheville with my brother and we went out to lunch at Salsa’s, my favorite restaurant–he was easily convinced to buy me lunch, as a certain event of this week grants me such favors. But I bought my own margarita.
Then we went grocery shopping, which was so much more fun, thanks to the aforementioned drink! I bought a lot of chocolate. Besides, I love hanging out with my brother. I’m eleven years older than him, but quickly regress to the folly and jolly of youth when we are out and about together. There’s really no regressing required for him to be in that space of…youthfulness, as it seems he never left it to begin with.
I got home and mucked out the goat barn. I’ll be a little stiff in the morning for that, I bet, but not the bad kind. I’ll wake up and stretch and yawn like a great big ole cat and kick everyone else out of my bed. Including the real cats.
For now Renee has claimed her father’s spot in the bed, until he decides he’s ready to slumber. The window above my bed is open, and I can still hear a few spring peepers. But mostly I hear the creek and the river, and the gurgle of the thin lick of a stream–technically a branch–that runs through our property. And the soft breathing of my daughter. It is a good night.