Winter begins on December 21, with the celebration of the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the yearly calendar. On the prairie, winter often means wind + snow + cold. Our community of hardy Prairie Star herbalists moves and dances 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 and creatures. They hunker down for the season, after spending a season of gathering and consumption, they settle back to their core – their roots, their nests, their caves – to sleep and nourish themselves for the journey that begins anew – where anything is possible.
For humans, this process of caring for our health and well-being may seem to make the world more complicated, rather than less. However, much of what we need to be healthy and thrive is provided by the natural world around us. As individuals, we often lack confidence in our own abilities to explore those things on our own. I’ve spoken with many who have taken this path as a personal journey, very much like my own story. We are empowered by what we have learned. It inspires us to join together and create a unique community devoted to healthier lives and a healthy environment.
Here are our educational offerings to our community during the magical season of winter:
- December 20 – Winter Qi gong - 5:30pm-6:15pm. Movement is also seasonal, and relates to the organs as defined by Traditional Chinese Medicine. In fact, movement and breath are considered medicine.
- January 9 -30 – Herbs 101 and Spice Rack Remedies Classes offered through Metro Community Classes –- See the Metro website for registration, times and locations. Learn some of the basics of herbs, and how to take advantage of the herbs in your spice rack – you’ll find out why we use these wondrous spices in our food preparation.
- January 19 – Winter Holistic Cleanse Class - 10am-12pm. Get your body, mind and spirit prepared for the unique gifts and challenges of the winter season. If you’ve been curious, join us to explore cleansing from a holistic perspective. We’ll also share the foods and cooking techniques appropriate for the season.
- January 26 - Grower’s Workshop - 10am-12pm. An annual event for farmers who wish to grow herbs for purchase by Prairie Star.
- February 7 - Couple’s Massage Class - 6pm-7pm. A special event for you and your significant other.
- March 7 - Free Seed Exchange - 3:30pm-6pm. Bring along your extra seeds and take home seeds in time for spring planting.
- The first Thursday of the month, celebrate Ladies Day Out on with 10% off all eligible in-store products, shop from 10AM – 5PM and enjoy our favorite tea of the month.
- Lastly, our little shop is open on Saturdays from 10-1, until the end of the year. Check our website for late-breaking new classes, and special deals.
We look forward to the season of winter and all it promises for us. Sometimes we view winter as that guest that we can’t get rid of, long after we’ve tired of their company. I’m not a fan of cold weather, but I’ve learned to appreciate the things that winter provides – a time for slowing down, planning, maybe a little bit of hibernating, reading, eating well, and appreciating my good fortune. Starting plants from seed is one of my favorite winter activities. Our basement greenhouse will soon be filled with trays of all kinds of medicinal and vegetable plants. Each day, we walk down the steps to visit the plants, tending to them, playing classical music for them, and yes, talking to them. There is something very miraculous and rewarding in caring for these plants, and I realize that maybe they are caring for me.
Plants help to empower me, giving me strength when I need it, nourishing my spirit as well as my body. Even in winter, the prairie provides a profound beauty. Take a quiet stroll and connect with nature. Be open to the messages of healing that are softly spoken in the words of the wind.