Our botanical sanctuary and primitive homestead in the mountains of New Mexico runs on solar power, and during these shortest days of the year, solar can be in short supply. While this can make keeping up with online work more challenging, it also means we’re more likely to take advantage of the quiet and dark to reflect and reset. As I write this, our usually calf-deep river is raging through the narrow mountain canyon, too deep and fast to cross even in a kayak, much less on foot. The clouds are thick overhead and freezing rain pelts the gray skeletons of the cottonwoods.
I can neither leave our property for supplies nor even turn on most of our LED lights in the cabin, but candlelight and storms certainly make for a cozy atmosphere to consider the year past, and the years yet to come. We are at the cusp of change, a liminal space between the growing dark returning to the growing light, although it will be some time before we’re able to really see that shift. Likewise, internal shifts we choose to make this time of year may take a while to show up in the visible world, but that doesn’t make those changes any less real or profound.
The transition from the old year to the new is a perfect time to reflect on our lives and determine what is working for us and what isn’t, what we should nurture, and what we should jettison from our day-to-day. We are blessed to share our friend Kiva Rose Hardin’s beautiful reflections on measuring time in the rhythm of the botanical world and developing deeper relationships with plants.
Journaling can be an effective and transformational part of the process—writing down thoughts, ideas, and insights can provide structure as well as a record of what we’re learning and where we hope to head in the future. Happily, Kiva offers some wonderful writing themes to help us all think about relationships, transformation, gratitude, and more! Happy New Year, friends!
Now that winter is here, we’re all thinking about cozy comfort and holiday cheer. We love our fuzzy blankets and immune-supporting teas, of course, but we’re also big fans of the soothing comfort and gentle uplift that aromatherapy brings to our wintery days.
Mulled wines and ciders have been around since ancient times. Mulling is simply infusing spices, usually through heat, into wine, beer, or cider. In ancient Greece, mulling herbs in wine was a potent medicine-making method, but today mulled ciders and wines are primarily festive drinks that are often imbibed during the winter holidays. We say it’s time to combine old-school wellness-supporting herbs with new-school festive mulled ciders!
This comforting, delicious, healthful mulled cider recipe includes traditional warming spices such as cinnamon, allspice, and cloves with the botanical boost of immune-supporting elderberries and astragalus. Salud!