Giant Puffballs have always delighted me. The first time I first saw one, gleaming and impossibly white, I was hiking through a low elevation meadow in the San Louis foothills of Colorado. I felt elated;
C L I C K B E L O W T O L I S T E N
With the recent Autumn Equinox and New Moon in Libra, balance is the name of the game. This moment in time also marks the beginning of the Jewish lunar new year, known as Rosh Hashanah.
Rosh Hashanah is a holiday I recall vividly from my childhood. It is customary to eat apples dipped in honey as a prayer for a sweet new year. My memory of this time is marked by the taste of unripe store-bought fruit and syrupy honey squeezed from something that looked like a ketchup packet. All of this, against the decidedly unceremonious backdrop of a large and unfamiliar gymnasium which my congregation rented annually to accommodate the influx of worshippers who joined us for the high holy days.
While this was watered-down ritual might not have been the most authentic or the most beautiful, it stuck with me. This prayer for sweetness still lingers in my memory; it endured in a way that most of my Jewish upbringing did not. So, last night, in my kitchen, in my underwear, I tasted honey from healthy hives, thick with propolis and pollen.
It tasted like freedom, like possibility.
As a global culture, we are long overdue for a recalibration of our values. The way we allocate both our time and resources is not just unsustainable—it’s killing us. Systemic change begins with individual actions. The fate of the world rests in each of our hands. I’ve said this before, and I will continue saying it:
How we choose to respond now matters.
In many ways, our world has become bitter. But our prayers and our offerings matter; our belief in a sweet future matters. Life out-of-balance has become so normalized that it is easy to feel helpless and complacent. The sheer volume of resources we consume and the amount of waste we produce is harrowing. But we can do better.
As the seasons shift, momentum builds, and we have an opportunity to make new choices—choices which honor our inner resources as well as those of our more than human kin, and the planet as a whole.
The ways things are is not the way they have to be.
Recently I started sourcing the olive oil for my apothecary from a local grower. For the last seven years, I have used California olive oil in my products, despite my proximity to a locally grown source. And you know what? That olive oil is now hand-delivered to my house by Bill, the father-in-law of the company’s owner. And we’re even going to be able to swap out our containers with each order, significantly reducing our waste in the process. Arranging this took no more than a handful of phone calls and emails. What it took was curiosity, communication, and most of all, the willingness to believe that there was a better way.
I mention this, not because it somehow absolves me of any further responsibility, or because its impact is so significant as to be worthy of an entire newsletter. Instead, I share this because it is through making similar choices, consistently and collectively, that we will ultimately make a difference.
There are ways, both large and small, that we can dramatically reduce our negative environmental impact. Often this looks like opting out: choosing not to buy the thing that is cheap just because it is easy. And in many more instances, it looks like choosing to buy nothing at all.
For a while now, I’ve wanted to write a piece called “Buy Nothing”–which is precisely what it sounds like. This is both incredibly simple and incredibly challenging because, in the absence of something more substantive, consumerism has become our culture. But it is a culture that harms rather than helps us. As more and more people begin to wake up to its toxic repercussions, we have an opportunity to replace it with something infinitely more beautiful and life-giving.
I don’t think that any one person holds the answer, because it will inevitably take all of us. And as we each begin to understand pieces of a planetary solution, we can bring them together and offer them to one another as the greatest gift we have ever given or received: the gift of a sweet new beginning.
So what do you say, are you in?
I’ll share more details and creative suggestions in the piece itself, which I hope to publish this Fall, but I felt called to plant the seed now. Beyond that, I’m going to keep this month’s introduction brief. Right now, I’m putting together a more in-depth announcement about a sacred shift you can expect to see coming soon to Garden Party. My heart is so full of gratitude for you. Thank you for being here and for taking this journey through the wheel of the year with me.
W i t h L o v e ,
S o p h i a R o s e
P . S .
Thank you so much for inviting me into your inbox. Feel free write to me at SophiaRose@LaAbejaHerbs.com and let me know how these words landed with you or share what’s on your mind. I’d love to hear from you anytime.
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