D e a r O n e ,
What a gift it is to sit and write to you today. As we tip beyond the Summer Solstice, I hope that all is well in your world, and that this season is bringing you both revelations and rest, in equal measure.
Here in central Texas, we’ve had rain for days; more of it in fact, than I can recall in my nearly three decades of living here. The creeks are full and flowing fast, and the garden plants are stretching their limbs long (that is, those that have not been eaten by browsing does). As I sit and type, the sun is peeking through the clouds, illuminating the prodigious wisteria which trails up and down the trees surrounding my home. The cardinal fledglings have left the nest, and it remains my greatest delight to watch the avian family with awe as they go about their days.
This month I had the great privilege of traveling to Colorado, where my father and his wife live in the foothills of the San Luis Valley. The occasion was to surprise my grandmother for her 99th birthday. The phrase, they don’t make ’em like they used to comes to mind when I think of her. She is witty, warm, outspoken, twice as smart as anyone else in my family and also twice as stubborn. This is a woman who famously carries around a laminated index card detailing the specific proportions of gin and olive juice which comprise her ideal martini, lest she risk a mediocre cocktail. The apple does not fall far from the tree.
Spending time with family always
feels like a benchmark to me.
When I am struggling, my time with them is that much harder. When I am doing my inner work, our visits feel soul-quenching. To share space with three generations of family (myself included) is a rare and healing thing. I feel so fed by their presence. Not to mention, the majestic landscape where my father’s humble home is situated. I’ll spare you the details and just say that the view from his toilet is of an utterly majestic 14,000-foot mountain.
However, the land in Southern Colorado has been plagued by drought for the last few years. Many people’s wells ran dry, and the animals in the area struggled to find water. We were all deeply troubled by this. Much to our relief and delight, last winter saw record snowfall and the spring brought with it generous rains which have inspired a banner year for the yucca blooms as well as countless other species of wildflowers. The mountain streams are gushing and the earth there is greener than I’ve ever seen it before.
It was hard to leave this lush high altitude paradise. Returning to Texas has been stressful, but also immensely grounding. I’m beginning to settle into my cabin, and am totally in heaven as I nest in this place, which holds me so sweetly. We are also in the process of restructuring a lot of aspects of La Abeja Herbs, and although all of the change is decidedly positive, it has not been without its challenges.
The plants and practices I’ve shared in this month’s missive have been seeing me through this time, and I am so excited to share them with you! I hope that they bring much delight into your life, and leave your heart feeling full. If you are Texas mid-July, I look forward to seeing you at our next in-person gathering where you’ll have the chance to visit my cabin, meet Mariee Sioux, and connect with other Garden Party members! Read on for details about all of this, and more.
W i t h L o v e ,
S o p h i a R o s e