Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Comfort me with Nettles

Sure, I know that fall "officially" started on September 23 but for me, I don't get the Real Deal Fall Feels until October 01. And that's TODAY! If I had confetti I'd throw it through the screen and let it fall around you in a soft circle of rose petals and sage. Aaaahh, let that visual carry you through the next thirty seconds.

Spring was enlightening. Summer was pretty rough. September was wonky and I don't recommend repeating it. Hurricane evacuations, triggered anxiety and panic, a jury summons, a wee bout with depression: no thank you. BUT, it's all over and good and no one was harmed through any of  these ups and downs. Hallelujah.

This blog of mine has gone through its own shares of ups and downs, highs and lows. It's had many different names and has been abandoned, put away, spit shined and resurrected. And I love it. I love how it's evolved alongside me, with me, in spite of me. I love how we as a culture can put our hearts and our souls out into the world via the Internet and it's possible to allow those little cyber spaces to metamorphose along with our spirits and our dreams.

And boy oh boy do I have a lot of dreams. Always have. I think I was born dreaming. I'd even wager that just before I transitioned from The Great Beyond to my Mom, God decided that He'd had enough of me, wandering around babbling about what I wanted to do, where I wanted to go, what I wanted to see so He decided it was high time I was someone else's issue for a while.

It didn't help. I still talk to Him on a regular basis but I don't think He minds too much.

Anywho, all that dreaming and planning and wanting and wishing really does a body harm. The stress it builds up, causing you to see the world through the tainted eyes of "but what about ME!" and "must be nice" and my personal favorite, "but that was MY dream, MY wish. Why are THEY getting to do it and I'm not?" It's ain't pretty and it ain't easy living with the likes of me, the Dreamer.

[An aside: my husband, The Woodsman, should be canonized whilst alive. He shouldn't have to wait until death to be given the title of Saint. Seriously.]

During this last bout with anxiety and depression I was hit with a really severe case of the "but that was MY dream" and it clung on like wet wool on a lamb. Everywhere I turned, there was another person I knew scampering off to play in the fields of my wanderings. And then, after I announced that I was expecting someone I know to accidentally meet the Queen (no one did, however, someone DID manage to wrangle a trip to Egypt but I digress) I started laughing. I mean really laughing. Gut busting laughing and the strangest notion came to me:

What if my job - right now - is to just be happy for the blessings of others, to enjoy their trips and victories, and give them a place to rest, restore, and refill after their journeys. 

The Woodsman and I LOVE hosting dinner parties and gatherings. We love having people over to wander through the gardens, sit at our breakfast bar and eat, drink or just chat. I host a regular stitching group and we love to have friends and family come and camp out on our couches for a few days.

[And I promise we WILL get a dining room table and a guest bed one of these days. Not in the same room, mind, but they will coexist in the same Hedgehouse.]

Now this wasn't one of those, "Woe is me! I'm doomed to walk the same paths and never glimpse the beauty and majesty of the Unseen Realms of my dreams" weep fest. This was an honest to goodness belly laugh at my own pitiful pity party inclined thinking.

Everywhere I turned (and I mean everywhere) there were fabulous vacations and  personal triumphs and career victories and I felt I was left standing in a mud puddle without an umbrella while everyone around me was being transported to the ball in a horse and carriage.

Suddenly, amidst the laughter, I saw the wisdom in the ordinary. I got a little glimpse of Wisdom through the mud being slung in my direction from the carriage wheels. And I turned my head up and let the rain rinse and I squidged about while the carriages disappeared in the distance and I went chasing after hedgehogs under the nettles.

Photo found via Pinterest
Nettles are very common. They grow everywhere and spread and take over. And they're wonderful. They are nutritious. They are healing. They have a lot of wisdom to give if you can stand the sting. Suddenly this commonplace herb was speaking to me from more than just my teacup. I realized that the new name of this blog came to me for a reason and a purpose and it came to me about a month before I went through this sorrowful mud romp. Funny how that happens, isn't it? The Universe just flinging something at you and you catching it and saying, "Geez I like that. I wonder why it's here."

Be careful what you ask for...you just might find out.

I was gifted with a new vision, one that invited me into the nettle hedge, sting and all. There is so much joy and beauty in The Ordinary. There's so much wonder and wisdom. And I've decided to make it my mission to seek it out in all of it's patchwork glory.

No this doesn't mean I"m giving up on any of the aforementioned dreams. I'm a Leo. We don't back down easily. But what it does mean is that I'm going to start learning these lessons in the art of slow: slow living, making, being, doing, baking, cooking, reading, tea sipping. I'm going to remember what it was like when I was a child and my greatest joy was wandering around the backyard during a rainstorm. And I'm sinking those barefeet of mine deep, deep down into the soil of my home and letting the roots carry me back to the place I once belonged.

Again, photo found via Pinterest. The artist, of course, Beatrix Potter
So welcome! Welcome to The Hedgehouse. Welcome to the house in the nettles. Welcome to where The Woodman dwells with the Washerwoman, the Granny Woman, the barefoot Gelfling who'd much rather get her hands dirty than hop in a car and drive into town. The garden is being put the bed soon and the days are getting shorter. Soon the temperatures will catch up with the calendar and we'll start digging out that fire pit. There's food to be cooked out there. There's folk art to be made and stories to tell. There's odd things to discover and strange things to unmask. There are old wounds to mend and salves to be mixed.

And there are dreams, Dear Hearts, dreams to nurture and bottle and coax to grow while resting while I gather up my courage and see where the moss roads and the mud paths take me.

I'm happy you're here. I'm thankful to those who have stayed for this long and I'm thankful for those who wander by from Instagram. That's the only other social media platform I use besides this blog. Oh, yeah. And Pinterest. I'm hopelessly addicted to that little digital scrapbook making collection of lovely pictures. It's a delicious feast for the eyes! You can find links to both my Instagram account and my Pinterest boards on the contact & connect page or on the side bar.

Here's to many more years of sharing and connecting via this little blog. It's come a long way and so have I and I'm delighted that you've chosen to join me along the way.

With Heart in Hand,


  1. Nettles for me have always given me a shiver. Once I walked through a patch of weeds and hopped out squealing. Even now I still remember that stinging sensation.

    Glad to see autumn as well.

    1. I've heard that they are something else! I've never been stung by them. As far as I know, I've never come across them in the wild but I do hope to cultivate my own little patch in the garden next year. I drink so much nettle tea, it makes sense to grow my own!


Hi there! Welcome!

Thank you for spending a wee bit of your precious time here with me. I hope you've found something interesting to take away with you. Leave me a comment and I'll respond in kind (right here, to keep the conversation flowing). I really do want to hear from you 💕