My hands are covered in a layer of rosemary sap so thick I could scrape it off. Bits and pieces of dried herbs cover my floor, table and counters and my little two year olds are scampering around with little glass jars collecting the bits for their big sister to use in her “herb concoction”. Dishes pile up and so does the laundry but lots and lots of home industry is taking place this day.
Dried herbs are being blended and packaged for winter cabinets, honey is being infused on the stove top, and packages are being made for herbal tea orders. To some it would appear chaotic. To let little ones join the family work usually looks that way but hearing my oldest daughter Ara, who is seven, remark that creating things with herbs is like living a dream makes it all worth it.
Last night I sat at my kitchen table, long after little heads were snoozing in their beds and even my husband’s rhythmic snore hummed from our bedroom. It was a rare occasion where I let Ara stay up so late but she was working hard on an herbal creation and since I was up getting orders together I let her creative process continue. As a result, right now there are lavender and mint leaves steeping in a covered bowl for a night time herbal bath treat this evening!
I sat there mixing tea leaves and listening to her babble, “There is no wrong way to mix an herbal creation, you know, you just take whatever herbs have the properties that you want and bruise them over and over again with your hands and they turn the water green. Lavender will be so relaxing and the mint will be refreshing. Is there anything better than wonderful herbs? I am basically living a dream…” … and on and on she went. I think she was daydreaming that she was recording her own documentary. It was wonderful.
Today, during the second cuttings of rosemary in the garden, Ruth and Anna toddled around behind me holding the bag as I snipped away and we quickly filled it to the top. They would pull one out and smell it and proclaim, “MMMM!!! Rosemary” in tiny little hushed voices. Then we would head into the kitchen to place them on the tray to dry with cries of “I’ll help you, I’ll help you, Mama.”
Harvest time makes for a harried home but a happy heart.