Renee and I set out early this morning (nine o’clock is early, I don’t care what you say) for Asheville to purchase the big tent we found on Craigslist. Renee was especially excited because today was finally the day that she would get the stuffed puppy I promised her last week for being brave and going back into the ocean after being clobbered by a wave. We shared a nice bagel breakfast and ran a few errands–brandy for tinctures, bat guano for my houseplants & seedlings, and a fuel filter for my car–before meeting up with the woman with the tent.

With that brandy I started a batch of catmint tincture, which I’ve found to be a lovely, gentle sleep aid. I also gathered in my basket another harvest of hyssop flowers and a radiant batch of golden and orange calendula flowers. My fingers were sticky with their resin–that’s where the medicine is for this delightful herb. Then I bundled them up in groups of seven and hung them to dry over my bed:

Yesterday I put in my handy dehydrator big bursting blooms of bee balm, as well as horehound, sage, and hyssop.  This afternoon I put the dried herbs into jars and put some sage on to dry, along with more hyssop and more bee balm blossoms.  Walking up to my bedroom the smell of sage lingered at the top of stairs, where all the hot air pools, lingering with a bit of hyssop.  Delicious.  Hanging in that hot air are also bundles of lavender and smudge sticks of white sage, hyssop, and lavender.  Ah, summer.

I weeded some of my garden, and thought a lot about how helpful it is to always be with the Moon.  When it’s New, I ask myself, "What do I need to sow?"  and when it’s Full I ask myself, "What do I need to harvest?"  Sometimes the answers to those questions have nothing to do with the garden, but I’m well aware that the garden is teaching me timing, something about which I have still much to learn, and the delight of being present to the moment while planning for the future.  Next Wednesday is the New Moon, and with it I’ll plant collards and other greens.  In the meantime I’ll need to be cleaning up my garden for that.  Every Spring little borage volunteers woo me, and I let them grow, and now, of course, they are massive and falling over with tiny blue stars on fuzzy stems.  Plus there’s grass and weeds galore from my week at the beach, apparently it rained every day here, and now it’s been raining every night.  I hear it cascading down in my sleep and nudge J–"Skylight, babe, shut the skylight…it’s raining,"  and he lumbers out of bed and shuts the skylight over our bed.

The past few days have been infused with Summer Joy–bike riding with my boys up Rock Creek to watch them frisk in the water, catching crawdads in the river, snakes and more snakes, the wind whipping up a storm of chokecherry leaves that streamed towards me from the East while I worked in the garden, and the clouds tonight full of faces and figures, edged in pink against a darkening periwinkle sky. 



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