We often wax poetic about the change of seasons here at Prairie Star. While winter didn’t always rate as my most favorite, I’ve started to really appreciate it. In the seven years that we’ve been processing herbs, I’ve become even more aware of the beautiful rhythm of seasons – and the changes that accompany the calendar. Spring has us focused on plant starts, conversations with our amazing group of local growers, and planning for our own gardens; summer is full of early season wild-crafted herbs and the bounty of summer aerials; fall is a time for digging roots, harvesting the last of cold weather aerials, and tidying up the garden beds; leaving winter as a time for putting things in order, assessing what we’ve accomplished, and planning for what comes next for a small business chock full of passionate herbalists.
Today, I’m sitting in my office on a Saturday, with intense sunshine coming through the window at a steep angle that shouts winter. I sit at my computer, accompanied by a gingerbread latte from my amazing small-town coffee stop. For the moment, it’s quiet, and incredibly peaceful. I’m exactly in the right place, at the right time. I feel blessed, but mostly, I feel connected to my world, to the energy that exists in the elements of earth, air, water and fire that define us. Customers wander in and out, we chat and enjoy each other’s company. Small town life is especially sweet on a near-winter day like today.
The winter solstice is near, announcing the official change of the seasons. This natural event, when the path of the sun in the sky is farthest south in our Northern Hemisphere, reminds us to ease into a time of short days, long nights, and intense cold and wind. Those of us who live here have become accustomed to the extreme conditions – native plants become dormant, local fauna – rabbits, squirrels, deer, and people, become resilient, staying warm, eating richly nourishing foods, sleeping longer hours. As herbalists, we see this time as a call to action - a time to focus on self-care. Our definition of self-care has many facets – interacting with nature, eating a diet of seasonal foods, cleansing/tonifying, body care, movement, and meditation.
The cycle of seasons allows us to experience our true connection to the natural world. Disconnection that comes through our modern lives leaves us feeling unsettled at best, and stressed, or diseased at worst. Starting with the winter solstice, we can intentionally settle into the rhythm and energy of the winter season. We are blessed to live in a place where we experience the lessons of four very distinct seasons. Watch for our series of seasonal posts from our talented staff - we will guide you through different forms of self-care that you can incorporate into your own life.
Join us on our journey through the season of winter.