15 August 2011

Lavender Days

Yesterday K and I went to Sauvie Island in pursuit of summer's bounty, or, at the very least, some lavender.  Sauvie Island is an agricultural oasis just outside of Portland; it is a fun place to visit.

I had found a u-cut lavender farm and had my mind set on holding some of those luscious purple bunches in my hands. I am dreaming of teas made with lavender and lemon verbena; petals thrown into desserts and simple syrup; and just having the smell around the house.   The smell...!

Cutting lavender has to be one of the most inherently relaxing activities you could do. As soon as we got out of the car, the smell of the field came full force.  I found myself lifting my nose in the air, trying to take it all in with big gulps and sniffs. I could feel my heart relax as I sat down in the field to begin cutting.  It felt like it was smiling and thanking me for bringing it to this special place.

The word lavender is thought to have come from the Latin word lavare, to wash. And wash and clean it does, body, mind, and soul.

K and I have different methods of cutting, and after making our way around to the different areas of the garden (they have four different kinds available for cutting), we ended up with two wonderful purple bundles.  We took these home with some plums and cherries, too...

We found a few other treasures along the way, including delicious heirloom tomatoes from Bella Organic Farm. We also discovered Cistus, a incredible "design nursery" teeming with interesting and happy plants. You can feel the love that the owners have for their plants when walking around the carefully sculpted grounds.  Each plants seems to be thriving, carefully placed in just the right spot.

Weekends are hard for me sometimes, are they for you?

On the one hand, I am thinking of everything I could get done over the weekend.   I think of chores, things that need to be organized and taken care of.  But then I am also so longing for fun.  I want beautiful, soul-filling experiences that refresh me for the week ahead.  It's a hard balance to find a lot of the time, but so important to keep trying!

This weekend we found that nice balance, accomplishing a few vital tasks, and still finding time to be in a lavender field; bake a dessert filled with fresh plums, blueberries, and lavender petals; and enjoy a few meals outside while the time is still ripe.

Time does feel that way towards the end of the summer: ripe.  Ripe for the taking.  Other things can wait when there is sun in the sky and color on the ground and lavender to be smelled....  don't you think?
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