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As I look forward to Spring after what seems to have been an endless Winter, my prayer is that I embrace all that Earth teaches me …

Earth teach me to let go of the old so that new things may grow

as the fallen leaves decay and become fertilizer nourishing what is new


Earth teach me to reach for the sky while remaining rooted

as the sycamore tree living courageously by the river’s edge.


Earth teach me to look for the path through difficult situations

as the water flowing downhill under the ice on the hill


Earth teach me that movement and doing is sometimes louder than words

as the air that is heard on windy days


Earth teach me to be a sanctuary for those who need nurturing

as the pool of water left from the flood provides for the tadpoles



Image from a walk along the Chemung River


It’s been a foggy day, raining off and on. Before I was a serious gardener I didn’t care for rainy days for many reasons. My hair would frizz, I didn’t like to walk in it, I didn’t like to have to carry an umbrella or wear a raincoat…. my list was long.

When gardening became a passion I learned to enjoy what the rain had to offer. It makes me want to stay indoors, enjoy the sound of the rain, read, work on quiet projects, enjoy comfort food and sit by the fire with a glass of wine at the end of the day.

Today a friend stopped by and brought lunch to share. We ate it while watching the eagle that was watching the geese involved in a very loud discussion, much honking and fighting and finally they settled down.

Because it feels like early April even though it is only February, lunch conversation turned to garden plans. We both like to use plants for a variety of uses, food, medicine, dyes. I remembered I had some avocado pits that needed chopping and when I checked them later I found that one had hardened too much to dice for better drying. But it shows the color I’m going for rather nicely… shades of red.

My friend stayed an extra hour before going back to work keeping eye on the eagle to see if it would fly away. After she left it put on quite a show of fishing. I watched as I sat at my work table, trying to get some work done.

Finally getting around to the pits, chopped what I could and took a photo. In the lower right hand corner are the freshly diced pieces. Lower left some dried pieces. At the top a fresh pit for chopping. In the center the dried pit showing color. The process of using natural dyestuff can involve several days of simmering or soaking and the odor can be a bit much. So I do this kind of thing outdoors when the weather allows. If this weather keeps up I won’t have to wait much longer before I start outdoor fleece washing and dye projects.

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