today i cut lotsa stalks of oregano in my parent’s backyard. a few years ago when i was having a depressed time in my life, i had taken pieces of that oregano (& mint & thyme) over to another section of the backyard, one outside of the garden, called “the mound”. it’s called “the mound” cuz it’s a humped section with a few blank spaces on it, but filled with big lumbering pines. i also found an iron arch with two seats built into it on craigslist for about $20, if i remember correctly. i sanded that arch & spray painted it red. my mom was doing a master gardening course at the time & was learning how to start native plants & flowers from seed. she brought home some columbine & other flowers i can’t remember. today that’s where i harvested those herbs, enough for four large bundles worth, that i now am drying & will take with me, dehydrated, to sprinkle into soups & grains & vegetables. a little sprinkling of herbs is a great addition to a healthy diet. they add flavor & are a great source of nutrients // fresh or dried.
a few days ago, on father’s day, we also took a family picture on that mound which is wild with the yellow flowers of columbine, the sweet light purple shoots of thyme, the high vibrant stalks of oregano, yarrow my mom transplanted, mint, wood sorrel, wild strawberries. it’s a bright area in the backyard &, though i started it in a period of depression, it brings abundant fruits to many lives now (plus being a great place to take pictures!).
as i cut the herbs, i gave thanks for their simple beauty. many times i pass over common herbs, simply identifying them in my head & not seeing them for the wonderful, “everyday” blessings that they are. juliette de bairacli levy aka juliette of the herbs is a wonderful teacher in my life for living close with the earth, living simply & being in connection with the powerful “everyday” properties of herbs. sometimes life can get so “in my head” or “fast-paced” that i gloss over the simple gifts of herbs and artistic acts done even in times of depression, but this act of gathering & drying herbs today has reminded me of the ongoing nature of life, that even if our mood isn’t the best we can still create acts of beauty that can give & give to ourselves & others for years to come.