Mothering Muse ~ Nurturing

On Friday, we invoke the muse of motherhood to shine her light of inspiration upon us.

The rains have finally come and brought fall along with them. I am feeling the pull to turn inward and be nurtured by cozy blankets and hot soup. My fall crops are ready to grace the table in a soup recipe that is a favorite throughout my community of mamas. It is easy and the kids love it! Blessings on your harvest.

Kale

“Green Machine” Soup

1 Yellow Onion

4 cups water

Chard8oz. Spinach, Kale, or Chard

3-4 cups Green Peas

1 Tbsp Fresh Ginger Grated

2 Tbsp Marjoram

2 tsp Braggs

1 tsp Nutmeg

1 tsp Ground Fennel

Lemon Juice

Chopped Parsley

Chop onion and sauté in the bottom of soup pot with olive oil, salt, pepper, ginger and marjoram. When onion turns transparent, add 4 cups of water, greens and peas, and bring to a boil. Turn heat down and cook until done. Blend until smooth in texture. Add Braggs, lemon juice, nutmeg, fennel, and parsley near the end of blending to suit your taste. Braggs gives a more earthy taste and the parsley adds freshness. You can play with these last ingredients until you find the right combination for you. Enjoy!

Makes approx. 4 servings.  Easy to double and save in fridge.

MarjoramRecipe created by Angela Karegeannes, shared by Ashley Johnson, and altered by Niki Dewart

Wild Card Wednesdays ~ Nurturing

Fanning the fire midweek, we are tossing you a spontaneous quote, question, or conundrum related to Monday’s post. We invite you to riff on this prompt or share a story—heartbreaking or hilarious—to spark further conversation about the path of motherhood.

With Haumea powering up my nurturing energy, I decided to take up her challenge and lavish it on those I lovemyself included. Today, I set the intention to shower extra care on each person in my family. For myself, I said “yes” to a spontaneous invitation to sip tea with a friend after school drop-off. I left Haven a love note on the journal he uses for his reading and writing homework.

Love noteFor my flower-loving girl, I put a small bouquet in her room. (The deer painting is by my dear friend, Lindsay Heppner.)

Bouquet

And, for Papa Steve, who is traveling, I invited him to join us for dessert (homemade applesauceyum!) via speaker phone.

Somehow going beyond packing lunches, making beds, feeding chickens, cooking dinner, and on and on, opened the tap of nurturance for me. Now that my nurture nature is flowing, I am no longer worried about making it through another day as a solo mama. Care to take up the nurture challenge with me this week? Please share your “extra care” moments so that we can all feel the love.

Nurturing

HaumeaWhen I had babes in arms, I was guided by my heart and my hormones to nurture these newborn beings. As they’ve grown, my love is best joined by intuition to keep my nurturing on track. When my daughter and I were both in desperate need of a nourishing, full-night’s sleep, I sensed that after two-and-a-half years it might finally be time for me to wean my baby. Now, as hugs and kisses are no longer cool at my son’s school drop-off, I am again trying to heed that inner voice to channel my loving touch into evening snuggles and back rubs.

I am constantly reorienting myself, yet looking to maintain that cornerstone of care and connection to my family. As I sit here reflecting on Haumea, the inexhaustible earth mother of the Hawaiian people, my thoughts come to rest on the bountiful natural world that offers new gifts with each season. I am deeply nurtured by this awareness and love to feed it by creating seasonal celebrations with my family and our cottage school community.

Even as we cycle through the years, these festivals full my cup. And, I like to imagine my children being nurtured into adulthood by memories of our joyful and soulful gatherings with our Applesong family. Today, we come together to rejoice in the harvest at our annual Apple Festival.  We picked apples, baked pies, played games, and feasted.

Picking ApplesApples

Sack RaceAround Halloween, the children make beeswax lanterns and we walk together into the dark, reveling in the magic afoot at that time of year. We create miniature vignettes so that the children may follow their imaginations to find the wee folk at work and play in the night.

Lanterns

For the Winter Solstice, we gather to celebrate our inner light. Using pine boughs, tree stumps, and crystals, we create a spiral in the snow. At nightfall, a single candle is lit in the center. One-by-one, the children are invited to enter the spiral, find their way to the center candle and kindle their own light, which they then placed upon a golden star along the spiral on the way out. With each candle the spiral path becomes more and more illumined. The Winter Spiral of Light is an image of each of us finding our way through the dark to ignite our inner light and then share it with the world around us.

In the spring, as the earth gently awakens from her winter slumber, our May Festival is a time to welcome the light and honor life. We celebrate with bountiful flowers, Maypole dancing and singing, and more feasting.

May Fest

What celebrations nurture your family?

 

 

 

 

Mothering Muse ~ Peace

On Friday, we invoke the muse of motherhood to shine her light of inspiration upon us.

The photos below were all taken by Jenny at the Neem Karoli Baba Ashram in Taos, New Mexico. This temple, dedicated to Hanuman, is one of my favorite places in the world.  There is a peace there that will gently nibble away at your mind.

After I had my three miscarriages, I went to the temple to pray for a baby, and nine months later my son Jordan was born.

Ram Dass, a devotee of Neem Keroli, and a founder of the temple, embodies the fluidity of peace.  Funny, outrageous, and living in the depths of quiet, I love his take on the “spiritual life.”

“We’re all just walking each other home.”

“Treat everyone you meet like God in drag.”

“Our whole spiritual transformation brings us to the point where we realize that in our own being, we are enough.”

—Ram Dass

Where can you make a peace pilgrimage to this weekend? What are your favorite local peace hotspots?

Wild Card Wednesdays ~ Peace

Fanning the fire midweek, we are tossing you a spontaneous quote, question, or conundrum related to Monday’s post. We invite you to riff on this prompt or share a story—heartbreaking or hilarious—to spark further conversation about the path of motherhood.

Nothing more beautiful than to witness your child absorbed in his natural state–no thoughts, no mind, total presence.  My friends Lina and Arjuna shared with me these incredible photos of themselves and their son Jay Jay.

When do you notice your child most at peace? In the water? In the forest? Holding your hand? Share a time when you noticed your child in a state of absorption…