“Tending my inner garden went splendidly this winter. Suddenly to be healed again and aware that the very ground of my being — my mind and spirit — was given time and space in which to go on growing; and there came from my heart a radiance I had not felt so strongly for a long time… ”
Rainer Maria Rilke, to Heise, 1922
The sun definitely begins to restore that “radiance” in January. The still, bright night sky all a lit with pure silver cast stars! The sun that lingers in the kitchen while I fix dinner, cats wandering on counter tops. I feel like we primarily driven by the sun and the moon, so it makes total sense to me that the longer days have me dabbling with seeds, earth and growth!
I have sensed revival and growth – and maybe I express it through a primeval way – working with new life.
The earth and plants have bewitched me and I feel like I’ve become their faithful, voluntary servant.
And so, early in January I began to take a little bit of action in this realm, despite the seed packet guidelines. My logic is that I have house plants of all kinds, so why shouldn’t I be able to start some perennials as “houseplants” before transplanting outdoors. I have done this for the past 2 years since we have had our own acre and never experienced any problems with starting some early plants! It actually really deepens my bond with the particular plant because they receive so much early care (as opposed to my plants in April because there are hundreds!)
So it begins… I can’t wait for the day in May that we go to the nursery, the greenhouses! But for now, I really don’t mind just the stirring of life, the rising sun and clear night skies.
In other parts of my small world – I am working in the library, knitting a sweater that just needs button bands and buttons and preparing to make a little pattern available on here for the last pair of fingerless mitts. It may be so confusing which is why I am just going to put it up here and state “make at own risk.”
In memoriam of Dolores O’Riordan – she helped me through being a teenager and always, always made me think of spring and life and growth and just moving on. I feel so incredibly sad for her and her family and just wanted to share with you her beautiful voice ❤ May she rest in peace
Well, the pink moon has passed but any opportunity to quote Nick Drake 🙂
The weather is WARM and the sun has been gracing us with his presence! I am happy, so incredibly happy. A little sun burnt and exhausted but so full of the cleansing, full happiness that fresh air and manual labour brings. I’m back to communing with the land, with roots and branches, robins and bluejays. April is a muddy and plan brown (or red on PEI), drab time of year here, but as soon as you get outside and take a wee closer look at the earth, the trees the colours of life on this green earth are just abounding.
The work on our 1.25 acre is endless. Especially since our plans include using every inch of space for flower, vegetable and herb gardens, animals and trees. We have a huge checklist which includes new gardens, a ton of raking, preparing wood for next winter, tending to our forest (really a small wood but the forest just sounds so much more majestic ;)), mulching, digging, burning, felling trees (I’m starting to sound a little destructive but it’s all part of the process!).
This week has been g l o r i o u s. I completely disconnected from instagram and feel as free as a bird by just removing myself from social media. The earth is speaking to all of us, if we listen and work with her.
At this time of year, we are not even touching vegetable gardens because the earth is too damp to turn. So, it’s mainly raking, woodland, and clearing up flower gardens. I even started to plant some chestnuts that have sprouted in our basement. I hope you enjoy the photos of our work and can not WAIT to show you the contrast of now and a couple of months!
I N S I D E
And on the indoor front – it’s getting a little wild! The plants are shooting up and need daily care. The tomatoes are strong and the herbs already fragrant. The lupin seeds I collected on the side of the road last year have sprouted and I am beyond excited to give back to the insects of our world!
A P R I L P I C K S
I’m reading OUTLANDER by Diana Gabaldon and I can already say that it is fantastic. A friend of mine suggested it when I told her I was watching the show and felt like it was made for us (plants, magic, Highlands of Scotland, yes please!). I stopped watching it immediately and started the book
I’m also reading through some Norwegian Folk Tales as well as our man, Ronald Hutton’s Witches, Druids and King Arthur.
TV / PODCASTS
Other than repeatedly watching Tales from the Green Valley, I’ve been listening to The Higherside Chats with Greg Carlwood – about fringe topics. He has an episode on PLANTS that I definitely suggest called “Earth Alchemy, Plant Spirits, & Engineered Abundance” with Shamangineer. My sister suggested it to me and I am hooked. It’s available both in his website and youtube.
Maybe I’ll reveal a part of myself I don’t tend to share on the internets but, I was thinking of making a compilation of books/videos/documentaries on modern fairy lore. I’ll start with a really fun documentary that hits very close to home here on the East Coast ❤ ❤ ❤
“For absolute, freedom and wilderness” Henry David Thoreau, Walking
Walking is one of my absolute favourite activities. Walking for no purpose aside from joining nature and losing oneself. I feel very lucky and grateful that I live in a place that is so close to many magical environments. There are so many different landscapes on the East Coast! This past month we have explored an old growth eastern hemlock forest in the centre of Nova Scotia, rocky shores and conifer forests along the East, the Mountains in the North and the mixed woodlands not far from our home on the Island.
October in the East of Canada is so beautiful! Our landscape is painted with the red and orange leaves of sugar maples, crimson blueberry fields, stark whites and golds of birch and the ever fluctuating bright blue and dark, smokey sky. There’s the song of the Canadian Geese overhead and black specks of crows perched atop the trees. It’s short and oh so sweet.
What do we do in the woods? We certainly spend a lot of time there. We Listen to the birds, the squirrels, the brook. Notice every adorable fungi we come across and marvel at the plush moss where I’ve always fantasized about laying my head to sleep ;). Sometimes, I forage or draw. When it’s really nice outside, my sister and I can spend a whole afternoon sitting by the river, wading in it, deciphering faces in the bark of trees and picking out the perfect quartz crystal.
It’s where I feel happiest and at home.
What landscape makes you feel happiest while hiking?