In want and hunger was their lot,
They who fled to the parched wastelands:
They plucked saltwort and shrubs;
The roots of the broom plant were their food.
~Job 30:3-4, Translated from the Hebrew
What a great time of year for the herbalist. A quiet time when the plants are in relaxed dormancy beneath the snow….a time to dream, reflect, and plan.
By mid winter I have usually let go of the past season, and am ready to plan for the next. Each new year is so exciting, with so much green promise. I like to flip through seed catalogs, map out new garden beds if need be, reflect on what worked or didn’t work in the garden in the previous year, and plan what annuals I will plant to augment the perennials.
Along with planning the spring and summer, this is such a beautiful time to enjoy the medicines we have made from the plants we have grown last season. I find myself being drawn to the roots, berries, and barks at this time–there will most often be a simmering pot on the stove filled with astragalus, echinacea, cinnamon, ginger, dandelion, burdock, or yellow dock, just to name a few. Drinking infusions and decoctions daily for winter health is vital!
Enjoy this time of the hunger moon, for it will be so short–and soon enough we will be in the busy fray of the rapidly growing green again.