Monday, July 19, 2010

Garbling Herbs

Saturday I spent a delightful two hours garbling peppermint. Garbling is the old-fashioned and technical term used by herbalists to denote the process of stripping dried herb leaves from their stems. When I was finished I had a quart bag of the most beautiful, delicious smelling peppermint leaves and a pile of equally aromatic stems.

The peppermint was organically grown and then dried by my friend, G, who has a magnificent garden in the hills above Silicon Valley. She generously shared her harvest with me.

I love the word, "garbling". Like a little kid with a new word, I have been repeating it every chance I get over the last week.

The weather has returned to normal for us. Cool in the mornings and warm but not hot in the afternoons. A blessed and beautiful sea breeze comforts us and makes it possible to enjoy the long days, rather than trying to hide from the light, which also means heat.

Last night as I opened the curtain in one room, to let this delicious air through, I noticed that my neighbor's pomegranate tree still has flowers on it. I have been wondering for several weeks how much longer the flowers would last and when the fruit would show. It is there now. Small, shiny red balls set just above the flowers look like Christmas ornaments. So beautiful and so promising!

Another friend brought me a peck of Gravenstein apples yesterday. I should freeze apple slices for later, but will probably share them instead. Peeling is one of the small hand tasks my hands no longer like to do and I prefer to comfort them with easy tasks rather than push them in frustration.

Gratitude is large in my mind this morning. Gratitude for beautiful things from friends' gardens, for the climate that I live in and for the gift of electricity. The house fan is running in the background, for the house is still stuffy. Without electricity none of the fans would work; the computer could never have even been imagined, let alone become so ubiquitous in our lives. Our lives would not be the same at all.

Still, while we depend on technology, we also do what our ancestors did, harvesting fruit and garbling herbs. I like the connections and am glad to be alive at this time.

No comments: