Body DIY

Everything Changes (Even Your Face)

After the last two loss-filled years we’ve experienced, one lesson has climbed above the rest: everything changes.

Everything.

However, despite its claim to #1 spot fame for me in the Top 100 Lessons of Grief, I have tried to ignore it, despite its shouts.

 

Beneath the Borealis 07-22-19 Everything Changes (Even Your Face) Intuition

Shout it loud, but we ain’t listenin’.

 

Everything changes.

The impermanence of it all has not left me in some zen-like state of acceptance. Quite the opposite. Rather, the worry that the potential for change has brought for me has left me in a sort of Henny Penny “The Sky is Falling” frantic permanence. Towards The Chief, towards our family, our friends, our little Leto. I considered all of the potentials for loss and tried to make every interaction left on good terms. Live each moment like it’s your last (Less , etc. etc. you know the drill. I thought that perhaps my worry would safeguard us from more loss. Yet this had always been measured outwards, away from myself.

And so in all my worry, I had forgotten to fret about one thing: me, specifically, my face.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve done a great deal of worrying about my face, I did, after all, attend middle school and high school in which I’d say more often than not, that people were unfortunately judged first on the constructs of their face rather than the content of their character. I did my best to dodge the disses and watched as beauty unfairly bargained the way for those she bestowed herself upon to the front of the line. Yet, as the years went on, I felt a flip of the switch.

In my 20’s, the first thing one of my boyfriend’s mother said about me when she met me was “She’s so smart.” It made me cry. I realized the tables had turned and I was in a phase of my life where the content of one’s character actually did come into play. It made me want to be a better person, smarter and kinder.

After moving to Alaska and Falling in Love Naked with Cauliflower Armpits I found a further reprieve from the standards of beauty I still (despite smarts or kindness) felt confined by. Although I enjoyed the routine of putting on makeup, I no longer felt required to do it. The choice became mine.

And so, these last few years I’ve worried less about my face. I’ve aimed to embrace my “sparkle lines” as my girlfriend calls my smile lines that ring my eyes and watch the changes that take place as marks of memories rather than the marring of time.

 

Beneath the Borealis 07-22-19 Everything Changes (Even Your Face) Alaskan Couples

Smiles lines, for good reason.

 

I guess I didn’t worry quite enough.

Early this Summer, after a lovely night planning our wedding menu with friends over probably a little too much champagne, I decided to impress my husband-to-be with a little acrobatics. We were headed home and after crossing The River, we approached The Gate.

 

Beneath the Borealis 07-22-19 Everything Changes (Even Kennicott River

My last picture of the night. On The Bridge, leading to The Gate.

 

The Gate.

This gate is one I’ve opened and closed countless times. We all have. Early in the morning, late at night, multiple times a day. It was high time I spiced it up. “Riding The Gate” is a term my fellow friends are quite familiar with. It refers to when one is opening The Gate and jumps on for a ride. The arm swings open and once it hits its full extension, the gate post sends you back as the car drives through.

Yet I had something different in mind. Something reminiscent of elementary school and flips on the parallel bars.

I took a running start at The Gate and by the time I hit The Gate’s full extension, my speed was such that I didn’t do a flip as planned but rather catapulted myself forward…

Straight down some feet below into a boulder below.

My body went limp and I came to as I felt the reactionary force dragging me and my open mouth backwards through the gravel. I stood up long enough to feel my mouth fill with a metallic taste and the sides of my face grow warm and then cool and decided that I should probably lay down.

I said out loud, to no one in particular: “I’ll just lay down for a moment.”

Needless to say, I hadn’t stuck the landing.

The Chief rushed to my side as I tried to comfort him.

“It’s fine” I promised. “I just needed to lay down for a moment.”

He went into full WFR (Wilderness First Responder) mode, checking my vitals and my comprehension. I went into full bravado.

“It’s no big deal. I just need to spit these rocks out and I’ll be fine” I said as I started to get up.

“Julia, stay where you are. You are not OK. There is blood everywhere.”

At that moment, looking at him looking down at me, eyes wide with fear, I started sobbing. The bravado melted away. It was bad. I knew it was bad.

Other friends and acquaintances crossing the bridge pulled up behind us and ran in shock to our side. From the stifled gasps I could hear as they approached the scene I knew it wasn’t good. The Chief called the head Ranger of our park for backup and once he cleared me for a spine injury we decided to go back to our house to reassess. The entire group followed, all helping, all concerned, all planning our next steps.

We got home and I was determined to clean the wounds to see how bad it really was. The head bleeds a lot and I was still certain that a few bandaids later, I’d be on my way to bed. Our friends helped me warm water for rags. I wetted them and started to try to clear the embedded gravel from my face. The pain was excruciating. I kept trying but within seconds I started to feel like I was going to pass out. I was sick to my stomach from the pain. The Ranger offered to try as well and I sat on my hands on our couch so as not to bat him away in automated self-defense. He kept apologizing as silent tears rolled down my face. It was all we could do. We had reached the limit. We were done for the night.

Or so I thought.

“I’m calling the 24-hour hospital, I’ll let them know you’re on your way.”

The Chief nodded.

Huh?

Before I knew it, someone was making tea for me, another making coffee for The Chief as he fired up the truck and off we headed for a 5 hour trip into the wee hours of the night. Off to the hospital.

Well, this was certainly unexpected.

I waded in and out of sleep, the pain increasing with each opening of my eyes.

We arrived around 5 am to a team readied for our arrival. After trying for over an hour to numb the area (I am apparently one of those people who doesn’t respond to topical pain medication) I submitted to feeling more than planned for. Again, I planted my hands firmly under me as the doctor picked and scrubbed and irrigated everything from rocks all the way down to the glacial silt out of my face. Tears streamed, my stomach seized but a few hours later it was done.

The Chief took a 30-minute catnap as the doc finished the liquid stitches, leaning over me to spread the “good word” as he held the two halves of my face together while the glue dried.

5 more hours later, we were home. The Chief helped me into the shower and gently washed the blood and rock from my matted hair. He tucked me into bed and when I awoke, I thought for just a moment that perhaps none of it had actually happened.

My reflection proved otherwise.

 

Beneath the Borealis 07-22-19 Everything Changes (Even Your Face) Facial scarring

Good morning, sunshine! The morning we got home. Pre-shower.

 

A split second had changed everything. The face I had come to know and embrace would forever be changed though how it would be changed, I didn’t know.

Everything changes, even your face.

 

Beneath the Borealis 07-22-19 Everything Changes (Even Your Face) Facial scars in Alaska.jpg

The next morning. Swelling ensued.

 

About five weeks after the accident, the final stitches melted away, the final scab fell and I stood face to face with my new reflection.

Well, hello new me.

 

Beneath the Borealis 07-22-19 Everything Changes (Even Your Face) Injuries

My first look. Not so worried about those sparkles now, eh?

 

When I first saw the scars I thought “That’s pretty badass” and that has been the overwhelming response from the crowd as well (another is that I look like the ultimate Harry Potter/David Bowie fan). It looks pretty tough and while Alaska isn’t a bad place to look like you can handle yourself, it’s not always the me I want to present. What if I want to look gentle or kind? My blank slate had been slashed. Or has it?

I’ll be honest, my road to acceptance has taken some turns and I don’t think I’ve arrived yet. In truth, it’s been a lot like the road of grief. Apparently, the universe wasn’t fond of my Henny Penny self and felt I still hadn’t learned the Everything Changes lesson, the lesson of impermanence and gratefulness and grace. I’m trying. Some days I love my scars. Some days I forget that they’re there. Others, I’m bombarded with Yikes! What Happened to You’s and it makes me remember.

Sometimes, they fill me with regret, with frustration and self-punishment. Sometimes, I wish I could just wake up and I would be the same old me. Sometimes.

Mostly, the scars make me remember to be gentle with myself. To remember how fast everything can change in an instant. To be grateful that more damage wasn’t done, that my eyes and nose and teeth are safe, that my brain wasn’t too terribly shaken. Mostly, appreciate my scars for what they remind, what they warn, what they promise. Mostly.

Always, my scars remind me that this too will change, as does everything.

The other day, my first Icelandic Poppy bloomed. It was brilliantly, joyously red. It unfurled, beaming with brightness, hope, youth. By the next morning, the colors of the petals had ever so slightly faded. A few days later, the last petal, still beautiful but more muted in her brilliance, fell.

 

Beneath the Borealis 07-22-19 Everything Changes (Even Your Face) Gardening Poppies in Alaska

 

All good and bad come to an end. What is to follow, we won’t know until we get there but chances are, you will be better off for it. And, if you don’t listen and learn the first time, the lesson won’t fade but will instead find new ways to tell you:

Everything changes (even your face).

 

With love,

 

from Alaska

 

Beneath the Borealis 07-22-19 Everything Changes (Even Your Face) Families in Alaska II Malamute

 

// May you be gentle with yourself and not require too extreme of reminders. May you be gentle with those you love and those you encounter. May your last words to those you lose be words bred in kindness because it all can change and it will, in a moment. Let us aim not to let the fear of the future freeze our present. //

Lessons Learned…and then Forgotten: Cauliflower Strikes Again

Oops, Britney Spears, I did it again.

Why in the world I tried after my last debacle, I’m not sure.

Did I think my skin had changed? Or perhaps that it was merely a fluke?

Well, it seems that yes, I did think those things. I must have.

Because…

 

I gave myself cauliflower armpits again.

 

Again!

Oops…

You see, since that post last year, things have changed a bit. That little hair removal flub had me off waxing for a while. I quit cold turkey (after only two forays into the wily world of waxing). My home salon was put on pause, eyebrows aside and I went back to my boy blade and shaving. But then, Winter got the better of me. I was intrigued again and I started the process. I grew out my little hairs and rrrrrrriiiiiiiip! Out they came.

And off I was in a new romance with muslin cloth strips and allergen-free water-soluble wax. As I’ve said, taking a shower here is no easy task and so unless you want to stand naked and shave every morning in a birdbath (in the shape of a tote), you’re not going to have much consistency and you know what I’ve come to realize?

I want consistency.

I love soft legs.

I’ve battled back and forth with why “Am I not enough of a feminist to wear my leg hair with pride?” until I realized that that little quandry was ridiculous. I think I’m plenty full of feminism and I’ve rocked a serious sweater on my gams if that’s something that you think proves it (it’s not) but in all honesty, I just don’t like it as much.

In a relationship with a furry man like I am, I’ll always be the smoother of the two of us but I realized that I don’t just want the smoother title. Besides, being smoother than him is like saying I’m an excellent runner simply because I’m faster than a turtle.

 

 

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Bigfoot!? Oh, no just a hairy Chief man.

 

 

There’s no comparison.

Nope, I didn’t want to just be smoother. I wanted my uber soft legs back. And so, my waxing romance has been going strong, you may or may not be happy to know. I’ve even gotten to the point where I can hold a conversation while doing it. Painful? Mmmm, a little but it doesn’t really bother me. It’s so satisfying.

My goodness I’m starting to sound a bit obsessed, eh? Well, don’t worry, a mishap was bound to happen, right?

It did.

A little bit of laziness came in. The thing is, the waxing that worked for me and my super sensitive skin takes a while. It has to heat up in water in a pot on the stove until it’s just the right consistency (the I Won’t Give You Third Degree Burn Consistency, preferably) and then, typically about half-way through I have to heat it up again, sometimes twice. It’s messy and although it’s water soluble, that doesn’t mean that it’s a breeze to get off the floor or out of my clothing or my non-waxing hair. And then, since it’s reusable (the strips are at least, it’s not magical self-regenerating wax, not yet at least) there’s the whole process of cleaning the strips.

The whole shebang last for hours and in the woods, where everything takes three times as long as it should anyways, the romance I’d had was starting to putter out.

With Summer’s arrival seemingly overnight and a month since my last appointment at Spa de Juju it was time.

Time for the perfect storm apparently.

You see, my girlfriend asked to borrow my wax since she was out and since I still was rocking the leg sweaters with no free day ahead of me to book an appointment with myself I figured I’d just go ahead and give her mine and order more. Some day I’d have time and then, it was back to the old Bic for a while until the manic time warp of Summer was over.

 

 

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and the first bloom of River Beauty tells me that will be a while…

 

 

But then, I got leg envy. I brought the wax to Town for her but we never connected and everytime I looked at it and then looked down at my leggies I wanted to act. But the wax was for her, I couldn’t take it back and so I tried the next “best” thing.

I used the fast and easy, ready made Cauliflower Armpit Inducing Strips from last year (that should have already been at my other girlfriend’s house since I had said that I’d give them to her last year, tucked away safe from my tempted self). I did one strip on my leg and waited a day and it was fine.

And so, I went for it.

I had the waxing bug where you just get ready to get it over with, like waiting to jump out of a tree on a rope swing. You just have to go for it. I was going for it, full backflip into the water and all.

And…it was amazing! I took a break from work and it was done in 30 minutes, no heating or reheating or sticky drops all over the floor and when I was done, it all went bye-bye into the trash.

I was feeling very proud and very metropolitan (and slightly guilty of being wasteful).

Until this morning.

You see, the mosquitos are out in full force. They are fast and ruthless and can keep up with me even at a fast clip. They don’t mess around. And so when I awoke this morning to an itchy armpit I knew immediately who the culprit was: dang mosquitos!

I heard them buzzing about and whipped out a few karate chop moves (even though they are jerks, I still feel badly plotting murder but it had to be done). Once I’d secured the area I went back to itching. This was a bad one. It felt like my entire armpit was on fire and it hurt more than most bites do and boy was it swelling.

Oh well, back to bed.

It turns out…I was wrong.

It wasn’t a mosquito, it was me.

That whole backflip into the water thing?

Belly flop.

 

 

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Yup. Still allergic. Still sensitive. Still the same old me, just none the wiser.

Even as I was going through the “easy” waxing and giggling to myself at how easy it was, I had a sinking feeling as I saw the bumps start to rise. But then, they vanished and off I went on a long (probably agitating) walk to Town followed by a game of Softball.

Whoops!

It seems a lesson learned by me is also a lesson quickly forgotten, as if time is some sort of magician who distorts reality.

And so now, I’m stuck with another round of Cauliflower Armpits. At first I thought it was just the one but no, no, no. How could it be?

 

 

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That look says it all

 

 

Perhaps, in my fourth year, I’ll learn. I wont’ commit the foibles of my freshman, sophomore and junior Summers. I’ll be a senior, big man on campus and perhaps, when I high-five people they won’t have to stare into the abyss that is a Cauliflower Armpit.

Perhaps.

We played a show on Saturday and despite the threat of rain and the chill that came with it, I was onstage with little more than a tank top because of the pain my pits were giving me. So I tried to give them air (and tried not to frighten the crowd with my angy armpits).

I think, now that I look back that a little part of me dismissed the irritation last year as being caused by shaving afterwards (I wasn’t very good at the whole waxing thing back then and had given up after a small effort) and another little mischevious part of me planned to see if that was true.

Well, wasn’t that a fun little game to play with myself.

I sure am glad we picked up our plant babies.

Aloe, to the rescue.

Sort of. Really, relief I think is spelled T-I-M-E and as I realize how impatient I am with it, I hope, hope, hope that I will finally learn this lesson, two sets of painful armpits later.

Fingers crossed.

Be safe out there, kiddos and try to remember the lessons you’ve learned, but especially those you’ve forgotten.

Happy home-spa-ing to you!

Ouch.

 

 

 

 

Falling in Love Naked with Cauliflower Armpits

From the time I started wearing makeup (an issue of high contention and many winy, though I thought well thought out, arguments between my mother and I) I never stopped.

I never wore all that much makeup, the whole eyeshadow thing was (and is) lost on me and I liked (and like) to see the tone of my skin, not a mirage of powders but despite it’s typically minimal presence, I still wore it everyday.

Going to the gym? Mascara and blush.

The beach? The same.

Going out? A cat eye and maybe some red lips was my staple.

And why not? Since the beginning of people, we have sought to adorn ourselves through piercings and tattoos, jewelry and clothing and hairstyles and of course makeup. And truly, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. I have a strong affinity for shiny things and gold is my favorite color.

Needless to say, I love adornment.

But sometimes it goes too far. Sometimes, the adornment becomes the identity instead of an accessory. At some point, the thing I had fought to have control over doing had control over me.

I used to watch my makeup free friends in awe, wishing that I too could go without but feeling too insecure to do so. They looked so beautiful, so natural. I longed for that freedom but felt that

I was different

I was required to wear makeup

I just didn’t look quite right without it.

From pool parties to long weekends with friends, there I was, with mascara at a minimum, wishing it were otherwise but feeling as if it just could not be so. If a friend stopped by and I was just out of the shower I would panic and try to “do something” to rectify the situation before they saw me.

I remember the first time a friend’s mom described me as “smart” first instead of a physical descriptor and I realized that this was how I wanted to be seen and interpreted. I wanted my insides to matter the most but I didn’t know how to shift focus. I felt trapped.

But then, I turned my whole world upside down. I left my home, moved in with a wonderful girlfriend and started planning for Alaska.

She questioned: “So, are you going to wear makeup in Alaska?” She being one of those beautiful friends that was almost always sans makeup.

It had been on my mind. It was almost as if she had heard me thinking it. What am I going to do? No one wears makeup there it seems. And who really cares if I stick out but I already felt like the inexperienced city girl (despite coming from the country) with “high maintenance” written across my forehead and “priss” written on my back. When I asked if I should bring a hair dryer or if my girlfriend in Alaska had one she giggled and replied “Julia, if I plugged a hair dryer in at my house my whole inverter would probably blow up”.

Oh.

I didn’t totally get what an inverter was but I did get that I was entering a totally new ballgame.

Back to nature.

And I was excited.

I wanted so badly to be free of feeling required to look a certain way but the voices of insecurity whispered “You’re not like the others. You don’t get to. You’re not enough”.

Pretty damn rude, if you ask me.

I responded to my girlfriend’s quandry: “I don’t want to wear makeup, but I’m feeling nervous”.

“Well, why don’t you start here and then you’ll be used to it once you arrive in Alaska? Plus, your skin could probably use a break, ya know? You could just spend the whole Summer letting it breath and rejuvenate itself”. It sounded like heaven. Except…

Umm, start at home, where I know everyone? No thanks. People will be shocked at how different I look.

Feeling my utter resistance to her idea told me that I needed to do it. I was afraid. So I forced myself.

Thank goodness.

It turns out that people weren’t shocked. People didn’t gawk or ask if I was sick (my personal favorite of the comments I’d gotten once from a previous stint not wearing makeup for one day at the office. It was going to be a week. I quickly reconsidered). In fact, I actually felt that I got more compliments with a naked face than with an adorned one but that is not what matters.

What truly matters was how I felt. I felt free. In the following weeks, I would curl my eyelashes or add a little blush for fun (and I still sometimes do, it seems that my cheeks, no matter if I’ve run a 10k or snowmachined up a mountain, do not blush, no way, no how and I really like a rosy cheek, so there you have it) but it wasn’t part of my duties for the day. It didn’t feel like a habit or requirement in order to be able to step outside.

Makeup felt, once again, like adornment. The freedom to add or subtract but in the end to be happy with the canvas I started with.

I took this new freedom with me to Alaska.

When I met someone, it felt like they were truly meeting me, not a constructed image of me.

Then I met The Chief. The night I really fell for The Chief (who am I kidding, I was hooked from “Hello”) was the first day I went Packrafting. We had all gotten drenched down to our undies, I had dirt all over my face and half dry-half wet braided/tangled locks for hair.

I mean, I’d certainly looked better before.

It didn’t matter.

To him I was me, the only me he’d ever known. He didn’t know the makeuped me of the past, just the dirty faced lady high on her first rafting adventure in front of him and he liked her. The feeling was mutual.

And so we fell in love naked faced. Stripped down to who we were and who we are. It’s a totally different experience than I’ve ever had before. I think every makeup wearer (who has grown uncomfortable with going naked) knows the stress of meeting someone while all gussied up only to wait anxiously for the first time they will see you without makeup. What a terrible reality to feel less than without adornment, but I used to feel that way.

There’s an Amy Schumer video that I think perfectly sums up the predicament, and in perfect Amy fashion she pokes fun at how ridiculous we can be as a society. I’m not saying that makeup is bad, just that if it makes you feel bad about yourself, then maybe it’s time to renegotiate your relationship terms. I certainly needed to.

Now, in the last year I can count on my hands the times I’ve worn mascara or lipstick. It’s a world away from where I used to be. Now, I look forward to fancier occasions (which might just mean randomly being in a bar on a Tuesday in Anchorage) where I wear makeup. It feels new and exciting, like a real event. But, by the next morning I’m ready to go back to bare and The Chief is always ready for me to get back to the real me. What a different place.

But, don’t get me wrong. This doesn’t mean that I don’t get a little bored sometimes. Living in the woods means there’s rarely a lipstick occasion (though, by all means, I could just go ahead and make it a Lipstick Saturday anytime) and so sometimes I try little beauty methods on my own. Julia’s Salon opens for business (Appointment Only and you might want to Yelp some other options. She’s new).

I go through phases of light and dark with my eyebrows, dying them dark and then letting them lighten. I’ve even done the same with my eyelashes. It’s fun to see how the face changes just from a little shift and it keeps me entertained trying out new techniques. It’s also interesting to see myself get attached to one way or the other and feel less than when things are different. Insecurity trying still to creep in. What a creep.

Starting at the top going down: Light Bright; An homage to Charlie Chaplin (dyeing the brows); Lash Tint Imprint; Darker for Now

 

 

So, with all these DIY beauty attempts I thought I’d try a new one. I thought to myself, hey, everyone out here seems to wax their legs and armpits. Maybe I’ll try that! Julia’s Salon opens again!

Good idea?

It seemed it (in retrospect, no). Our shower was on the fritz and shaving takes up extra water in my little birdbath bathing sessions so I thought, hey, why not? Plus, I’d done it before with a girlfriend this Winter so I was sure I could figure it out on my own. What could go wrong?

Well, it turns out that I’m allergic to the particular wax I used.

That’s one option that could go wrong.

Another is that my reaction could cause my armpits to swell and bubble up like the cauliflowered ear of a boxer.

Sounds glorious, eh?

So far, three days in, my armpits (could we perhaps come up with a more glamorous name? Even Armcaves or Armjunction feels better. Pit? Not shiny) are just as angry as Day One. They’ve carved three tally marks on the wall like prisoners and are threatening to fill the whole wall with tallies if I ever go near that wax again. Sheeesh! I was just trying to do as the locals do.

Thankfully, a few weeks ago, a friend up the road gave us two aloe plants which The Chief remembered as we looked around the med kit for relief. He broke the plant and applied it to the angry armcaves. One could almost hear them sizzling as the cooling liquid touched their hot surface.

Grossed out enough?

Yea, me too.

I can tell you that never has a beauty regime felt less important. In an effort to try something new I put myself out of commission, or at least made things much more painful to do. From hauling water to my new attempts at running, to folding laundry and carrying things into the loft my days have been filled with yips and squeals at the parting of the cracking skin while my nights have been interrupted with itching bumps that awaken me from sleep.

All this for a little hair removal? Geez, I’ll keep it. Or actually, I’ll just do what I’ve always done because now I’ve found out what works for me: shaving please (preferably with a man’s razor. What, do they think that women can’t handle a sleek six blades? They are way better, ladies, trust me. Or actually, just do whatever is working for you). I’d much prefer to spend a few more minutes in my birdbath than an afternoon (or at this point probably about a week) in sticky pain.

Even when one is loved barefaced naked, it’s fun to switch things up, to try a new beauty regime. And even while loved barefaced naked by another (and by myself as well) I still sometimes feel the whispers of insecurity telling me that I need more than what I woke up with.

But in times of cauliflower armcaves, that all feels a bit trite. Not being able to run around the wilderness because I wanted silky armcaves?  I’d rather have unruly armcaves than be debilitated by changing them. I’d rather have a dirty face because of an adventure than a made up one any day. I’d rather be with a man who fell for me naked and I’d rather fall for myself naked because there is so much that is so much more important than how we look. To you, it may seem obvious, maybe something you’ve never even questioned. But after years of protecting myself against ridicule from the outside sometimes I need a reminder that the self is not just what is seen and hopefully it is so much more.

Thankfully, the reminders here are plentiful and the “so much more” is something I will always find more ways to work on out here. The vastness of this place calls attention to what really matters and to how much I have to learn.

From the big to the small.

 

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From harvesting wild plants to make medicines to creating cleaning substitutes when I’ve run out of store bought ones to attempting canning solo for the first time (and stopping pre-seal), this place is afire with learning and perspective and reminders:

A bonfire with friends where everyone is lit by the glow of the flames means no one can tell (or cares) if you’ve dyed your eyebrows but they can tell if you’re happy.

 

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A walk by the riverside where treasures of copper and walking sticks and skulls present themselves to you speaks to the magic I’d miss if focusing elsewhere.

 

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Seeing my first sprouts grow that I was so sure I would mess up.

 

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The reminders are everywhere.

 

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These are the joys that take me out of myself, out of what I used to think important and sometimes still get lost in and transport me towards the person I want to become.

Cheers to the journey.  Dolled up or stripped down it’s all still happening. Let’s try not miss it on account of CauliCaves*.

*No, that’s not the medical term but damned if it’s not the perfect descriptor.