What is Jewelweed?

Have you ever been hiking in the Blue Ridge mountains? Decades ago, it was among my favorite places to hike and camp…. I became entranced by the cool trails, the scenic waterfalls, moss covered streambeds, and towering forest. I intuitively felt the cleansing quality of the mountain air, was comforted by the sweet songs of babbling brooks, and allowed the abundance of beauty to infuse my heart with wonder….

It was in those wild spaces that I fell in love with Jewelweed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A member of the impatiens family, Jewelweed blooms from mid-Spring through mid-fall in the Eastern United States. It loves growing in creek beds and in moist woods, tending to choose areas that also have poison ivy or stinging nettle. It grows into a rather large bush, decorated with small blossoms. Its beautiful orange spotted yellow flowers are shaped a bit like trumpets, and they hang delicately from the stems like little jewels of the Divine Feminine. They produce quite a bit of sweet nectar, and attract hummingbirds like crazy! In fact, early English settlers sometimes called it the Hummingbird Bush! (Hummingbirds are a symbol of Joy!)

 

If you have ever brushed bare-legged up against stinging nettle and felt the fire of Hades intensifying moment by moment on your skin, you will appreciate the healing powers of Jewelweed.

Usually nearby (as a sign of Divine Inspiration), showing great compassion on the sensitive hiker, is the succulent green remedy that immediately provides relief… you simply identify the pretty plant, grab its lower stalk, and begin to mash to release the cooling salve straight from the stem. Within moments of applying the aloe-vera like gel on the flames…

AAAAAAAAaahhhhhhhhhh……….

When I first went into business as a custom jeweler, I decided to use the name Jewelweed. To honor the power of healing. To embrace the ideals of beauty and purpose. And to reflect my rather earthy values. Now, it has evolved to Jewelweed Sprouts… with new growth, the promise of abundance. Jewelweed has some great wisdom to share…

 

Create nectar to attract Joy.

Beauty serves a healing purpose.

Everything we need is within our reach.

 

 

How are you attracting Joy into your life?

Do you include experiencing beauty as a part of your health care?

Do you allow yourself to be provided for?

Leave a comment below, or head on over to facebook and join Friends Who Like Jewelweed Sprouts and keep the conversation going!

 

 

 

 

 

Persephone Awakening

Rite of Spring… Dance Yourself to Death!

 

An image from the 2013 production of Le Sacre du Printemps by the Joffrey Ballet, Chicago, reflects the hard jumps and stamps of Vaslav Nijinsky’s original choreography.

Have you ever listened to The Rite of Spring by Igor Stravinsky? All the way through?

It’s a metaphor for life, and I find it utterly fascinating.

Pina Bausch, Igor Stravinsky’s, Rite of Spring “Opening”

 

Stravinsky was a young, virtually unknown composer when he was recruited to work for the Russian Ballet in the early 1900s. One of the most admirable things about him and his work was his IDGAF attitude about what was expected of music at the time. You see, the only folks who were coming to see the Ballet were either the wealthy, who wanted to be comfortably entertained, or the BOHEMIANS who craved something NEW, especially if it made the upper crust uncomfortable.

Well, they got an earful that night!

The avant-garde nature of the music and choreography caused a sensation and a near-riot in the audience. The way Stravinsky used tonality, dissonance, tangible stress, and unpredictable rhythm drove some into a frenzy! Some loved it, some hated it… It was described as the work of a madman.

The choreography of the first section, “The Kiss of the Earth”, culminated in a frenzy of movement as the dancers moved to embrace the energy of Spring.  This primal expression drove the witnesses into a frenzy of the senses. The second section “Sacrifice”, was a bit darker, ending with a young maiden chosen to sacrifice herself to death by dancing… To appease and please Spring. At this point in the performance, often the audience grew quiet, even silent as they sat captivated by the emotions of the dancer.

I resonate with the music, the dance, the composer, the audience…. Spring is a baffling time, so urgent with expression, so messy, and fully completely ALIVE.

Rainbow Moonstone, letting light in

Some things I work to develop in my life as an artist, as an Authentic Goddess, and as a human exploring this bizarre and utterly inconceivable experience of life are impeccably embodied in The Rite of Spring.


TONALITY
– In my art I explore aspects of tonality, creating moods with my color choices. Recently, this has brought me to fall in love with moonstones, rainbow moonstones, and labradorite. I love the way they roll light around inside their crystalline structures to reveal new parts of themselves…. they way I work with meditation, too!

METRE– In life we all find our pulse, our flow of movement. Sometimes it seems too fast, other times too slow. Somehow, we maintain the steps, sometimes we drop a beat, but there is always one thing to remember:  “When we are dancing we are not aiming to arrive at a particular place on the floor…”-Alan Watts

It isn’t a race, and there is no ribbon to be won.


STRESS
– Not the ubiquitous kind that we try to rid ourselves of, but the good kind. Like, what priorities in life do you STRESS? What notes are louder in your composition, what colors are brighter, where do you place the spotlight? My stress may vary a little from day to day, but overall, I stress LOVE in my life. My love for my self, my love for my family, my community, my friends all over this vast globe…. THAT is where I add light. What about you?

DISSONANCE– The cacophony of daily life can feel very distracting at times. Dissonance is an integral part of our growth and understanding, however. In a world of dualities, contrast defines. Without the depth of dissonance and unresolved issues, we are not able to taste the sweetness and nourishment of harmony. I can’t say that I fully embrace the discord and difficulties I encounter in my experiences, but I do know that when I DO, I find myself to be more peaceful and aware of things to be grateful for. It hones my senses…

SACRIFICE– One of the questions I love to answer is: What would you do in life if money were no object? My answer is delightfully easy for me… I WOULD DO THE EXACT SAME THING. I will surrender to this beautiful life, I will offer myself up to the flow and syncopation of this fantastic existence, and I will enthusiastically DANCE MYSELF TO DEATH… In the only way I know how. Keep creating myself. Every day.

 

 

Which brings me to this gorgeous and vibrant first day of Spring.

The earth awakens after the long slumber of winter, the Spring Equinox arrives. I love this time of year. There were many years I hardly noticed it, living in the beautiful tropical U.S. Virgin Islands. It was simply a date on the calendar, albeit a very important one on my life, as it is my WEDDING ANNIVERSARY!

I wed my husband at 12 noon on the Spring Equinox of 1996 in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.

Spring Wedding
Unpredictable Spring

 

THERE WAS A BLIZZARD.

 

The snow in the mountains of Virginia covered all the daffodils, crocus, and tulips that had rushed to bloom for the glorious first day of Spring. Instead of a Spring Wedding outdoors amidst all the twitterpation of new life, we crowded into my parents’ house and made our vows. The weather alarm sounded just as we were about to hear Charlie’s dad recite 1 Corinthians 13:4…. to remind us, the blizzard. Life is unpredictable and glorious in its brazen disregard for our expectations….

I urge you to give a listen to The Rite of Spring by Igor Stravinsky… ALL OF IT. See what it stirs inside you. Find those places that are uncomfortable, sit with them. Discover what your sacrifice is in this precious life. And like Mr. Stravinsky, BE AUTHENTIC. This is NOT a rehearsal.

Leave a comment, please, to let me know how this incredible piece of music made you feel….