This morning I woke up feeling wobbly in spirit. Anxious, unsettled, uncertain. So I did the three things that always help:
- Have a good cry.
- Talk to Bear.
- Go outside and make something beautiful.
It’s hard to keep feeling wobbly when the tears are out, the struggles are shared with someone who cares, and your arms are full of elderflowers.
So I take a deep breath and press on, because that’s what bravery is, one foot in front of the other, breath in, breath out, gaining courage from the good people and good things around me.
It’s funny to me how we don’t give each other courage by the things we’re mastering, but by the shared heavy sighs over the things we aren’t.
Finances. Relationships. Kids. House. Work. Health.
I’ve been so comforted this week by conversations with friends as we talked about how most of the time most of us are just trying to survive, just trying to earn enough to pay the power bill and (maybe) buy new underwear, just trying to do what we can to help our loves feel safe, loved, and happy, just hoping to have a few precious moments to ourselves where we can restore our spirits before the next emergency demands our attention.
And that’s bravery too. Staying in the life we have when it’s hard and scary and overwhelming and we’re exhausted beyond measure, working hard each day to make it a little better, a little happier, a little more stable.
I’m so thankful we don’t have to do life alone.
I have a tendency, when life is hard, to hibernate. That’s good, for a little bit, but then I need to get up and get out and connect with people, real people, people who love me and like me loving them.
It’s those connections that breathe life back into life. Those visits of laughter and crying, those emails of commiserations, those text messages and phone calls that talk about who’s vomiting now, who got/lost a job, and what on earth we’re going to make for dinner. Those little nothing conversations that mean everything because they say, “You’re not alone. I’m here. Life sucks, and it’s beautiful. You’re crazy and I love you.”
So we cry, we breathe, we talk with safe people, and then we get back to building good things.
Today I’m harvesting and drying elderflowers because it makes me happy to see bundles of these lacy blossoms all over the veranda. And because one day soon I’ll be able to sell parcels of these beauties in my tea shoppe market stall, which in turn will pay for food for our animals and food for us, and continue building goodness into our life here. That makes me smile as I cut and gather, wash and dry, store and package, brew and sip.
I’m also doing it because elderflowers are so nourishing to the body, helping it fight off colds, ease sore throats, and combat hayfever.
I’ve been able to go off allergy tablets completely since drinking elderberry tea this year, and I’m excited to see the effects of elderflower tea, which some believe to be even more potent.
Now I’m heading outside with Bear to plant two more grass gardens for our chickens, and harvest beetroot and purple carrots to roast for dinner.
What good things are you building in your life today? xo
PS – If you’d like to learn more about making your own herbal remedies, click here for my book: “herb & spice: a little book of medieval remedies.”
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