April, 2021.

Sprinkled across the hood of my car were a cup of tea, a handful of bolts, and a borrowed socket set. I was hanging off of the roof rack with one hand and eating a sandwich with the other. I told my roommates that I would catch up with them. I needed to finish installing this bike rack. I smiled to watch them glide down the road on their bicycles. A few minutes later, I had tidied up and I was pedaling to meet them at the ocean to catch the sunset. It was already beginning. The sun rays fanning low through the streets, dancing on rooftops, cartwheeling through branches. The city of Victoria has many neighborhoods lined with cherry trees that had erupted into clouds of blossoms. Riding down to the water in a world swaddled in roses, perfumed with the springtime sweetness of cherry blossom air. This is how I remember leaving the west coast. The following morning, we walked along the beach once more to splash saltwater on our faces and say farewell to The Pacific. I got into my car with two of my roommates carpooling east with me.

Food with Friends

The railway follows alongside your car on the Trans-Canada, similar to the way the moon chases you through the highways in the night. She is unwavering no matter the direction you take. It’s as if the world is made for you at that very moment. A drive through The Rockies or along Lake Superior. They are friends that choose to stay with you for a while just to keep you company. Road trips have this sort of romantic longing that I’m beginning to discover has less to do with gas station coffee and more to do with the time you spend making eye contact with the spirits of the country.

I was in the back seat looking down the side of the mountain to the running river below, listening to a lesson by Evolutionary Herbalism about herbal astrology. As a hands-on, big-picture learner, I love learning to link planets, bodies, and plants. I’m able to embody what I am learning if I can reflect on the connections of all things. In our initial zoom conversation, Nick had mentioned using astrology for planting and harvesting herbs. I’ve been interested in biodynamic farming for that very reason. I spent the afternoon daydreaming through the Rockies about how much there is to explore in an extensive apprenticeship like this one. It’s exciting and overwhelming to think of how much I don’t know yet. Though it is comforting to know I have gentle and wise mentors welcoming me, and I feel excited about how they will take to my questions very soon.

A Desk at Home

I arrived in Ontario one day into Aries season, the energetic new year. As I type this, my eyes linger over my journal still half-filled with reflections from the full moon that has recently passed. I’ve taken some time to read over the first lesson on the course that accompanies my apprenticeship; The Science and Art of Herbalism, by Rosemary Gladstar. The homework assigned in the first lesson requires the student to produce two different infusions and two different decoctions. On the full moon, I knew that I would soon menstruate. I thought it to be a perfect time for a lunar infusion. I used a blend of raspberry leaf, nettles, pineapple mint, motherwort, mugwort, and calendula in a glass jar, filled with fresh room temperature water. The jar sat on my windowsill in the moonlight, for me to drink when I woke the next morning.

I have used herbs, and specifically, cold water infusions, to support my menstrual cycle for many years. I bleed heavily and I have intense cramps. Both of which I find easy to use herbs for. Only in the last year have I noticed my emotions fluctuating with my cycle. I have been experimenting to find what is best for me to support clarity of mind and regulate hormones. The lunar infusion that I tried for my homework felt great. My body feels nourished with vitamins and minerals. The soft encouragement of the moon draws out such a sweetness in the herbs that brings a gentle energy to my body when I drink this type of infusion. It is by far one of my favourites!

I have gathered notebooks that will soon become a broad reference library of notes and wonders. Thank you for joining me on this journey! These spring days stretch out before us, welcoming the annual great-reveal of life! Happy spring to you, I’m looking forward to writing to you again.

Things on the Beach

Blog photos provided by Dayna