This morning, Sarah and I went on an adventure. I had two quick errands to run and she loves to ride in the car. At 60 F. and overcast, it’s still cool enough for her to wait 10 minutes in a car with the windows down about four inches.
We ushered Phoebe and Luther out to the deck with a big bowl of water and a variety of rope toys. Sarah was delighted to go with me.
I went looking for provisions from my favorite butcher and a few more veg to pop into an already magnificent pot of soup. I found more!
All the spring flowering trees are in bloom!
The dogwoods are just getting started. The redbuds are stunning. There are some purple ones that look like wisteria but I’m not sure about that. Gorgeous, in any event. And brilliant, crimson Japanese maples which aren’t blooming but look like they are.
Our pinky-purple Loropetalum is dripping with blooms and, one by one, the azalea bushes are popping, too.
While Sarah was snuffling the breeze, I was on a sight-seeing tour for gardeners!
When we got home, I saw some early season bees, happily buzzing among the blooms I left on a few of the collard greens, and I actually felt tears in my eyes.
I have a history with bees.
I’m desperately allergic to stings. Bees, wasps, yellow jackets. You name it.
One day, years and years ago, I got stung on the knuckle of my ring finger in the parking lot of a grocery store. Within 20 minutes, my arm was swollen to my shoulder and I was having trouble breathing.
Enter my close relationship with Epi-pens!
Dave is allergic, too. I try to pretend not to know that he keeps his Epi-pen at home in the closet where the first aid stuff lives.
For a long time, I was pretty phobic about bees. Especially the buzzing. The usual anxiety symptoms. Avoiding anything with flowers. And then, one day, my phobia was gone.
It happened at a training session in Ericksonian Hypnosis. We were watching an ancient, scratchy video of Milton Erickson working with a client about her bee phobia. Somehow, I dropped into the trance experience of that moment and, when the video was over, my phobia was gone.
I’m still appropriately cautious. No floral or fruity perfume. Ditto, scented shampoos. No hairspray. I carry my Epi-pen, especially when eating outside.
Now, though, I can appreciate bees for the aerodynamically improbable, life-giving miracles that they are. I speak kindly to them in the garden. I plant things for their pleasure.
Sage and lamb’s ears are favorites with the local gang. Just about anything with purple flowers. And the funnel-shaped flowers. Check for recommendations in your area. Hummingbirds will like them, too. And butterflies.
It’s a chance to nurture our mother, the Earth. To feed the generations that follow us. To learn new things.
Like no GMO’s. No neonicotinoids. You really can grow a garden without chemical fertilizers and herbicides and insecticides!
And early indications are that feeding Phoebe small doses of very local honey is helping with her severe allergies. (And my sanity!)
Our garden starts with organic, heirloom seeds. And lots of compost. And barrels planted full of leafy green stuff, right in the front yard, because that’s what I eat.
Or, if you don’t have the room, some potted herbs. This is one place where each little bit actually does help. Which is an encouraging thing to realize on a day when you’re juggling dogs and running errands or whatever it is you’re doing.
And then there’s the whole thing about the power within us to be healed of our fears and phobias. That’s pretty encouraging, too!
For the moment, though, time to dry-brine a perfect chicken for dinner. (Just click for the recipe!)