I ought to tell you that these rings began in a cable knit sweater, in a fine Seattle drizzle, standing under a row of Hawthorns tip-toeing into their full autumnal regalia.
Let me back up, tell you where I began.
I've been getting to know my trees. I suppose I've always been getting to know my trees, but now that I'm back in the land of the deciduous, I'm trying to learn their proper properties.
I don't profess to be an identification expert - far from it in fact - but I love to know who is what and what is whom and who can I eat if I'm ever lost in the woods.
Wait. Let me back up a little farther.
Last week I had a conversation with a very wise woman who happens to be an herbalist. She told me about her treks into the deep, wet, Washington woods, heading out on the weekends to search out specific plants, harvest them and then preserve their individual good medicine. She said to me "this month I'm spending time with the Hawthorns, sitting with them, tasting them, listening to them, touching them, just getting to know them." She said "you need to look for the Hawthorns; they're full of good heart medicine, good for your soul, good for your joy, good for your blood pressure too."
So I took her advice:
I came home, looked them up, strolled outside and sure enough, realized there are no less than six growing right here in my wild city property, fingery leaves swinging clusters of bright red berries. They're slipping into Fall, slick green turning bright and brassy, padding the moss below with a golden blanket. Higher up, the squirrels leap precariously with crimson laden twigs, stockpiling berries in their fattened bellies for winter. This weekend I plan on collecting my own berry cache, drying some for tea, soaking some for tintures, putting up that good medicine for the dark days when my heart is heavy and I need a fresh burst of antioxidants.
But in the meantime I did as I tend to do:
Walk around in the mist. Scour the edges of the yard for feathers. Nibble on berries. Collect handfuls of leaves. Make a pot of tea. Stare out the studio windows. Sketch. Write. And then when I'm ready, sing some silver into form.
Hawthorn: Good Medicine Rings
(sterling silver and [top] royston turquoise, [bottom] carnelian)
(you know where you can find them!)