How do you know it’s Summer?
The long days, the warm nights, your garden, your body, the spirit of vacation and adventurous trips to take? I know it’s Summer when my Heliotrope starts to robustly bloom, instead of throw out a few lanky flowers like it does from January through May. Heliotrope is the type of plant that needs little attention and if you over tend to it, it almost withers from the care. Heliotrope is the only plant I know that does worse when dead headed. I’m not sure if this is everyone’s growing experience, but for me, I have to be thoughtful about how I tend (or not tend) to it.
With the solstice here, I’m spending some time thinking of how to tend to myself, my family, my house, my belongings, my work. I’ve learned from my work with the finicky Heliotrope, not all things want tending – then others want a lot more. The Summer is for warmth, light and brightness – so I’m trying to let go of my dark colored clothes, heavy foods and reclusiveness. I’m making sunteas in the simplest way possible, by walking around the garden, grabbing with my fingers anything that is fresh growth and soaking it in water in a giant mason jar. I leave the jar in the warm spot in the garden for a couple hours. I’m reminding myself to drink more teas to tend to the parts of me that I forget about; my liver, my kidneys, my stomach, my heart. Tend to the inside as you would tend to the outside. And in the Summer, there is nothing easier then making sunteas.
Here’s my recipe:
2 liters of filtered water in a few mason jars.
A small handful of fresh foliage; Rosemary, Lemon Verbena, Lavender leaves, Peppermint…
A few flowers of Borage, Roses, Lavender flowers, Chive flowers…
Give the herbs a shake to gently toss away any bugs or dirt, then dunk them in the filled jar.
Twist the jar tight and seal it with an intention of bringing in the Summer solstice energy. Think of vibrance, being in full bloom, warmth, light, abundance and positivity.
Let the jars stand in the sun for a couple hours. A porch, the sunny spot on your deck, in the perennial bed – any warm spot with direct sunshine will do.
In this time that the teas are steeping, tend to your garden and body. Find a spot in the garden that needs weeding and sit shoeless and cross legged on the dirt. Allow the soil to ground you and feel the warmth at your base. Gently arch your back to reach for the little weeds to the left and right of you. Be slow, be deliberate and make a little pile of pulled weeds and roots by your feet. Feel your body – are there any spots that feel stiff or tight? Breath into those spots and slowly lean – or just relax on the ground. Sweeping and raking leaves is another gentle way to lean and flex and stretch your body, while caring for your plants as well.
Before you know it, a small part of your garden looks well tended and loved. Your body might feel elongated and warm. And your sunteas will be ready to drink.
I hope you are outside and tending on this lovely Summer solstice day.
(Here are some pics from my garden… Tag me on some of yours!)