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Celebrate winter with us!

Winter begins on December 21, with the celebration of the Winter Solstice.  We bid adieu to the season of fall.  Here on the prairie, it has been mild and dry.  And windy – very windy.   The door of our shop opens, summoning our attention.  We look up again, and again, as the wind is a bit of a trickster.  It announces itself - “I’m here.  Slow down.  Pay attention to me.  Winter is coming.”   At Prairie Star, as herbalists, we move and dance with the seasons.  Winter signifies a time of rest and preparation.  For us, our compass points north.  It is a magical and reflective time, where we follow the direction of the prairie and its native plants...

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A prairie summer moon

A full moon on a hot Saturday night – most beautiful and bright – perfect for a little moon-bathing. The moon is magical, especially a summer moon. I gaze at it, sensing an opening to a rapid current of knowledge and wisdom, if only I could dip my toe into it, I could touch the essence of the universe. I am buoyant… and then, I’m back in my body, on this planet, sitting in my back yard.   Summer is my absolute favorite season. Here in the Midwest US, the sun starts to rise before 5 AM and sets after 9 PM. The staggering amount of daylight provides time to get large projects accomplished. Painting, gardening, harvesting wild herbs, writing...

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The waning of autumn

Here in the Midwest, fall has been mild, dry and warm.  I’ve loved the opportunity to be outside in the sunshine, breathing in the smells – the pungency of falling leaves, the earthiness of fields after harvest, the sweetness of crushed overripe apples, and grilled goodness at the football tailgate gathering.  I’ve dug roots, hung seed heads, spread leaves to dry for tea.  Sometimes, I step outside just to breathe in the richness of the breezes that come before the start of winter. As I watch the gradual fall of leaves, search for the last of the tomatoes on the vines, and say goodbye to my potted annuals, I am touched by sadness. I spend my days immersed in the...

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Paying attention

Many years ago, when I worked for a large corporation, I stumbled across a poet, who had made this amazing connection between poetry and the preservation of the soul in corporate America. At the time, I was on a search for how to express the energy of my soul in my work as an information technology designer. I knew that my occupation provided security – a good income, a 401K, a health insurance plan, yet there was always something missing for me. I began to feel that something was wrong about me, and I was confused by David’s message - work can be immensely fulfilling when you face your fears and follow your dreams. Several years ago, I had the...

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Evolutionary momemtum

Evolution: the gradual development of something, especially from a simple to a more complex form. Last week I was fortunate enough to ride my bike across the state of Nebraska, the state where I live. While that may not be on the top of everyone's list, it is an annual occurrence for me - a week of riding and testing my physical and emotional endurance, along with my spirit. My first ride was 11 years ago, after I had recovered from brain surgery. I wasn't sure that I'd ever fully regain my balance, and I was so inspired by Lance Armstrong's story that I fixed my sights on an epic bicycle ride, just a little shorter in duration than the...

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