It’s terribly cold in Hobart, and I am up late avoiding my kitchen bench which is currently serving as my workshop, and suitably covered in wood shavings, sea shells and tools. It’s been far too long since I blogged proper, clearly, a coffee and a new post is far more important than the current state of the kitchen bench.
And it is! I realised this evening I’ve been blogging here for a year next month. I aught to post more often, I aught to make it a habit, and it’s such a good time of year for starting new habits.
I adore this time of year. In a few weeks everything is going to be coming up golden. And by golden I mean the wattles will explode. They’re already producing minor explosions of yellow all over the place. There are daffodils and jonquils popping up in gardens and fields, shortly, the whole world will smell like warm honey.
Between Candlemas and Rosemas (Imbolc & Beltane) is really my time of year. I was chatting to a friend in the U.S. the other day and talking about our shared love of herblore and root work, but I am always impatient for Spring. I realise it’s entirely sentimental, it reminds me of collecting cut flowers and arranging them with my Mother and Grandmother. One of my favourite pastimes is arranging cut flowers. The language of flowers, their meanings, the smell and energy they bring into the house. I love them outdoors as well, but I can’t help but long to fill up my home with them. I enjoy the artistry of it, however fleeting it is.
I collect a lot in nature, evidently, so much of what I use in my craft is nature grifted, and I approach cut flowers the same way. Often arrangements are made particularly for a shrine, or spirit.
As I wandered around home in the period of the full blue moon this past week, collecting nuts, bare willow branches, the odd flower, fallen branch wood for tool handles, wandering and wondering… At when the wattle blooms will be ready to make perfume, when the love creeper will bloom and if it will be in time for making wreaths, I realised how much I enjoy the process of my Craft. The long, meandering conversation one has with nature through the year, the hints of things one sees in the small places, subtle on the wind, the surprise early arrivals, the shock of snow on the Mountain, late in a season, losing a basket in the bush for 15 minutes after becoming distracted by mushrooms in the loam, having a bird answer you back when you think you’re alone…
How we know a thing, in the case of the nature of things that live, like people, is of or has a nature, takes time. We need to observe it in all kinds of weather. Those we know well we observe in all sorts of situations, and our environments and the plants, soil, trees, are no different. They respond. I am glad that I take the time to get to know, it is beautiful and wise and funny, and has the capacity to improve my mood, make me smile. It can inspire.
It does! The more I am in it, the more I craft. The ideas flow, problems are solved, resources make themselves known, and the more I know of it, the greater my ability to use it, like a language. Just like the language of flowers, only it doesn’t stop there. Nature is an alphabet, and a story, and an incense, a water, a craft tool, a wood carving, a bunch of flowers, is a letter, a chapter, a paragraph, we can write back, gift to someone else.
Perhaps it is the season of inspiration. Perhaps it is the clean crisp air. There does seem to be an awful lot to read and write.