September 2020 Review

echinacea close up flower

Hello Friends! September 2020 was totally intense and completely wonderful over here.

How was September for you?

The intense parts: heavy smoke and beginning distance learning kindergarten. Personally, I was totally exhausted and a little overwhelmed.

The wonderful parts: Being together through the smoke, being stuck inside for 6 days didn’t phase the kids at all. No complaints, only togetherness. Riri turing 3. They say when your youngest is 3 life becomes easier. Personally, I am somehow making it through even when it seems like it’s not even possible.

I think we in Portland are all just coming out of a fog of smoke and fires to face the new reality of distance learning and COVID still being there despite how hard you wish it wasn’t. Then there’s the election.

To think we are only at the doorstep of so many transformations and healings that need to occur. I don’t eschew this reality, it just takes me a little while to get used to it.

Yet, I am up for it.

It doesn’t matter how healthy or able I am, or how much time I have, I am willing to make efforts to colonize the colonizer within me and move in the direction of a more just and sustainable way of being.

Alright…now that we’ve established that this is indeed a crazy time to be alive, let’s talk reflection.

echinacea flowers

Reflections for the month

Reflection is not about trying to achieve anything. It’s really just how you felt and what you thought. 

What was meaningful to you? 

What warrants your acknowledgement? 

… celebrating?

… continued embrace and support?

What was your favorite thing? 

Some things I thought about:

Herbs: Helichrysum plant (not essential oil). I had one that made the most delicious sunny honey smelling flowers. They smell like golden light and milk and honey. The flowers smelled their strongest while dried, isn’t that interesting? Such a dense scent, a globe of fragrance would waft through the house and hit me out of nowhere. They transported me to ancient Europe hillside.

Marshmallow, too.

During a ritual with Megan, I was led (via vision) by ancestors to a little Marshmallow patch in my yard. They took me down on my hands and knees and showed me repeatedly to cut the Marshmallow stalks to the exact level of the soil. Cut them right to the ground, they said.

I didn’t know they brought up Marshmallow. They just said I would need it. This Marshmallow had already flowered and I was going to leave them to the pollinators, until they instructed me otherwise.

So, I harvested the Marshmallow. Except you can see that I didn’t go allllll they way down to the level of the soil, as they clearly told me to do. I thought maybe Marshmallow would shoot up from the stalks, and I wanted to leave a little bit above ground in case that was useful for their growth.

The next week, the heavy smoke rolled in. We were dried out, and our lungs needed support. I heavily leaned on those Marshmallow leaves as my primary soothing demulcent during those days.

I have since cut the Marshmallow stalks to the ground, as a way to show I am learning and listening to my ancestors instructions, and grateful for their support.

Not sure why I didn’t go all the way to the ground – I knew Marshmallow can be hacked and dug up and neglected and it will still grow. Hubris, mostly.

marshmallow shoots

What were my favorite nature spots? The river with Wolfie. Got our last bit of sun-on-skin medicine.

white kid in stream

What were my favorite things to eat? I cooked! I haven’t done much cooking and chores for the past 2 years when I became sick with Lyme. Everytime I cook I am so excited I nearly jump out of my skin. One meal I loved was gf spagetti with sauteed mushrooms, way too much garlic and grated Romano Peccorino. I can sometimes break a dairy rule for sheep’s cheese.

What did my kids say or do? I am just happy that Riri is sleeping a little earlier now, since she stopped napping. She is a very snuggly bug. And I am happy that Wolfie is home for kindergarten. All day everyday kindergarten seems a lot for that kid.

What was my favorite creation? After a couple years of wanting to, I pulled out the sewing machine and made a dress for Riri’s doll. Crafting is so satisfying, why don’t I do it more often?!

What was I listening to? Led Zeppelin, and way to many “Why this song is great” videos from Rick Beato.

I wasn’t listening to a lot of music this month, kind of in shock from the high stress. I was in survival mode.

Then at the end of the month it all came to a head. I just had to shake it out, move, dance. Especially the upper body, arms, wrists – turns out I need about 5 songs worth of movement to release the constrictive writing and typing posture. Part of my current Lyme symptoms are neuropathies. My entire upper limbs get numb typing and stay that way unless I make a concerted effort to get it out.

The playlist of choice for shaking out neuropathies? Lots of Britney. Especially with all that has been going on with her conservatorship. I have a Free Britney playlist right here. (I have granted myself permission to be totally cheesy in regards to music, and I recommend you do the same, your body will thank you after a few songs of dancing).

Notable dream? This has been a month of not sleeping well and not dreaming well. But that’s okay. Things ebb and flow.

The only dream that stands out is one where I was running through crowds of people in a big city, like Berlin or Paris, rushing to catch a train. The train was Thomas, of course (can you tell I have little kids?).

I was alllllmost there when I had to stop and look at something intriguing on a tree. The tree was a young one, but bigger than a sapling, and it was draped in climbing, rambling rose brambles that was loaded with slender, elegant, sparkly rose hips. On the trunk of the tree grew a fruit, about 2 inches wide, with a circular base coming to a point, like a volcano. The fruits were a deep raspberry red color and kind of had flesh and skin the texture of a strawberry, but they were also like the inside of a fig. Plus, they smelled amazing. I had to stop and eat them. They called to me. In the choice to stop for the fruit, I decided not to catch the train. The whole dream slowed down and I sunk into the moment and savored the fruit.

No fancy esoteric interpretation needed there: I’ll take the advice to slow down and eat the fruit 🙂

Health topics and herbs on my mind? I have been writing about bladder infections for a little ‘zine I want to release soon.

The most health-related topic I keep thinking about is concentration, focus, and purpose. I keep asking myself, “What am I doing here? And why?” What allows us to enter a state of depth with our work at hand, and is that even a thing we can all entertain and experience?

Mostly I am asking: How am I going to do my own work while having two little kids at home?

Instagram break continues. I’ve been off of IG for 5 weeks now, and I can see that I am hardly getting started. Each day something new opens up about my relationship with social media. Even though it seems like not being on social media should be easy and simple, it is not. Not for me.

My brain is being re-wired. It’s going to take some time.

I generally do not like to say this because of its moral overtone, but in this case it is the best descriptor: I am going through a detox process. Long neglected parts of myself are coming online within my own being. And it is often painful. Or at least uncomfortable.


Happy Autumn to you all.

Take good care,

Celia

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