You have your jars of herbs lined up before you like wild soldiers. Each is stuffed with gifts from the ground--fat golden flowers and thick roots and long needles--each its own medicine. Here is calendula, that happy marigold, ready to soothe irritated skin and frayed minds; there is ginger root, the fiery cleanser of the solar plexus, stoking the heat, the determination within yourself; tucked in the back is that brash kitchen herb rosemary, that fearless sharp evergreen the clears the mind and heals your tired bones.
You let the scents of each open jar mingle and cloud your nose as you take first a pinch of this herb and a scoop of that. You want something--your body is humming, calling for the soothing wisdom of these plants and they answer that call with the gentle melody of tiny buds bouncing against the sides of your mixing bowl, dried leaves whooshing into the pile of your new blend.
You inhale the rich grassy scent of alfalfa leaves, hungry for their nourishment. You search through your jars looking for alfalfa's mate, that balancing force that tempers the mouthful of mowed grass with sweet and soft. Your eyes light on fennel, that little seed made up of licorice and mint; yes, this will pair well with your other leaves.
Each addition to your bowl is the promise of a new healing elixir that will float from a steaming cup and into your soul to mend, to cleanse, to ground. And though you started with your jars and only a vague sense of needing a cup of wellness, you find that after your blend is made and steeped and drunk, that what you really needed was time in the kitchen. Time to unscrew the lids on those jars of herbs and play with nature's medicine cabinet. Time to let your mind drift, to let the taste of rosemary settle on your tongue, and to have no other aim but to blend.
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