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a dark quiet room, with tea.

The young mother

except she’s on a metro bus and she’s exhausted, terrified, and broke

In the early days of my young motherhood, when my marriage was falling apart and life was an unending cycle of wailing and washing and vomit and sleepless nights, I used to dream of a special room for mothers.  In that room, time would stop.  There would be endless, quiet hours of darkness and unending cups of warm tea.  In that room I would rock, and rest, and recharge against the chaotic and ceaseless cycle of my life.

I was so taken with this image that one night, sitting around a sacred fire with a squealing baby on my lap, I shared it.  No sooner had I spoken than a young woman I’d never met before burst out: “I know that place!”  She quickly blushed and silenced herself, but after the fire she approached me and she told me of a Korean spa she’d discovered, a place that for a small entrance fee entitled one to soak in warm mugwort baths and sweat in a salt sauna and sip endless barley tea and nap on a warmed jade floor.  We set a date, I cashed in numerous babysitting favors, and when the day came I found myself in motherhood mecca.

I had never been to a spa before (I had walked past buildings labeled  ‘day spa’, but they were so far out of my realm of experience that I vaguely thought they might have something to do with eyebrows.)  My new friend led me into a steaming room filled with laughing naked women. I spent six hours sweating and soaking and scrubbing and sleeping on the jade floor and writing in my journal, and my life was changed forever. Continue reading

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March 14, 2013 · 2:27 am

the one herb i’d never be without.

Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioicea) is a miracle herb.

It embodies the permaculture principle “the problem is the solution”: nettle juice heals its own sting.  Taking a few minutes to contemplate that can unleash a lot of insight. Continue reading

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