Monthly Archives: October 2016

A Wooden Book to Care With

During my years in adulthood, I’ve gravitated toward natural treatments in personal hygiene: a waterpik versus flossing, a coconut oil swish versus mouthwash, a no ‘poo hair regimen versus dandruff shampoo and constant hairwashing, a deodorant with no aluminum in it. The list goes on.

I’ve also read many books that originate from stories of our history: stories of travellers trekking through the forest, and they encounter a tiny cottage amidst the trees and a woman who lives there. Most often, she is old and wizened, but the travellers are soon amazed at her healing food made from her garden.

She leaves the cottage and comes back in an hour, holding plants picked from the woods around her. Each plant is to be made into a remedy to heal each of the travellers, and they are amazed at her knowledge. They go on their way a few days later, rejuvenated by her care, her food, her medicines.

Sometimes, these women are called witches because their healing and cooking knowledge seems like magic. But a bunch of plants and knowing how to use them are not magic. Instead, they are put into tiny, glass bottles and sold as essential oils today.

When I try essential oils, that’s how I imagine us: women practicing a (legitimate, effective, proved) medicine to rejuvenate and revitalize and protect. When I crack open my new tome all about essential oils to treat an ailment or a sickness, I imagine it to be packed with knowledge passed down by wise women for centuries. I use it very carefully, and my imagination can see a similar book on a wood cottage table, made of vellum or parchment, browned with age and use.

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From here.

I’m new at essential oils. I’ve recognized that women gravitate toward these. I received a booklet about essential oils in the mail from a cousin, and it is full of specific testimonials— all from women. I won’t be spending hundreds of dollars all at once, buying a hoard of tiny, precious bottles; I’ll be learning, bit by bit. Bottle by bottle. Elixir by elixir.

I haven’t tuned out Western medicine altogether. I see the value in immunizations. And Western medicine is expensive too. But most of it does not smell good or feel good in application. Swallowing pills is more uncomfortable than an oil massage. A poultice is less invasive than swallowing foul syrups every few hours. But sometimes, I don’t have the healing answer. And sometimes, it sounds more authoritative coming from someone who works in an office and wears a white coat and carries a computer.

But the vision of that precious book made of parchment on that wooden table surrounded by a vast resource of forest just won’t go away. So I hope to learn some of it.

The Sky & The Weather Around Here

My life just got a little easier. I’ve volunteered to be the volunteer coordinator at my local community theatre, and my first assignment was to help plan and execute the large, annual Volunteer Appreciation Party. It was on Saturday. Whew.

My life also changed at the beginning of the school year with a little phone call telling me that Toby would no longer be bussed to school. Two frustrated phone calls later plus lots of corresponding with many local parents leaves me walking two miles every day to and from school in the morning. Yes, I’ve talked with the principal and a bus driver and yes, we’re building a plan for when it’s cold and rainy.

That leads me to my writing topic today.

It’s cold and rainy.

The way we talk about the weather fascinates me. In an annoying way. That pesky pronoun: what is it?

The sky is freakishly sunny today.

Well, actually, the sky is always sunny. The sun doesn’t fade on and off as the weather changes. It’s the clouds that make the difference.

It’s cold, and I HATE the cold.

The cloud is cold? The sky is cold? How do you know the temperature of the sky? Do you have a weather balloon attached to your shoulder?

Okay, so “it” is the weather.

Gosh, I love it today. It is so gorgeous out there.

The latter works, but the former does not. Why? Why did our language become that way?

Maybe “it” is the air. Gee, it’s a lot of talk about the air. I’ve learned that when we talk about the weather with complete strangers, we do so because that kind of talk is the neutral zone from which we base all other talk. If this complete stranger gets passionate about the sudden wind gusts today, we know that this stranger is easily excited, with highly expressive reactions. This stranger will probably have similar reactions if we continue the conversation to different topics.

If another stranger looks off in the distance while talking to you about the weather, and you know they’re not concerned about a distant tornado… You continue to talk to them about the weather, but they continue to not make eye contact… You know that is their normal conversational habit.

But the “it” thing? I mean—

The weather is hailing! Wahoo!

—it sounds so odd.