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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Hawthorns - Good Medicine Rings

I ought to tell you that these rings began in a cable knit sweater, in a fine Seattle drizzle, standing under a row of Hawthorns tip-toeing into their full autumnal regalia.
Hawthorn: Good Medicine Rings
Let me back up, tell you where I began.
I've been getting to know my trees.  I suppose I've always been getting to know my trees, but now that I'm back in the land of the deciduous, I'm trying to learn their proper properties.
I don't profess to be an identification expert - far from it in fact - but I love to know who is what and what is whom and who can I eat if I'm ever lost in the woods.

Wait.  Let me back up a little farther.
Last week I had a conversation with a very wise woman who happens to be an herbalist.  She told me about her treks into the deep, wet, Washington woods, heading out on the weekends to search out specific plants, harvest them and then preserve their individual good medicine.  She said to me "this month I'm spending time with the Hawthorns, sitting with them, tasting them, listening to them, touching them, just getting to know them."  She said "you need to look for the Hawthorns; they're full of good heart medicine, good for your soul, good for your joy, good for your blood pressure too."

So I took her advice:
I came home, looked them up, strolled outside and sure enough, realized there are no less than six growing right here in my wild city property, fingery leaves swinging clusters of bright red berries.   They're slipping into Fall, slick green turning bright and brassy, padding the moss below with a golden blanket.  Higher up, the squirrels leap precariously with crimson laden twigs, stockpiling berries in their fattened bellies for winter.  This weekend I plan on collecting my own berry cache, drying some for tea, soaking some for tintures, putting up that good medicine for the dark days when my heart is heavy and I need a fresh burst of antioxidants.
But in the meantime I did as I tend to do:
Walk around in the mist.  Scour the edges of the yard for feathers.  Nibble on berries.  Collect handfuls of leaves.  Make a pot of tea.  Stare out the studio windows.  Sketch.  Write.  And then when I'm ready, sing some silver into form.

Hawthorn:  Good Medicine Rings
(sterling silver and [top] royston turquoise, [bottom] carnelian)

(you know where you can find them!)


Joyful said...

Very beautiful (the rings and the hawthorn)!

christina said...

oh i missed the carnelian one! maybe next time.
they are just gorgeous!

Cat said...

wow wow wow
this are stunning
your are out doing yourself every time!
good medicine indeed
and of course they are all gobbled up!

you are a beautiful talent

love and light

prairiegirl said...

Thank you for my dose of Hawthorn. Does a body good! And I hope that IF you ever get lost in the woods, a Hawthorn tree will embrace you with her branches. Girl, you are really tearing it up in that studio!! x

lynsey said...

Totally, totally beautiful!!

Carrie said...

just melts my heart, i love them and the story behind them makes them so special. I need to win the lottery (starting to play would help!) and then commission you to make me lots of art and jewellery, one day......

UmberDove said...

We ALL need good heart medicine, no? I love you ladies dearly!

Jenn said...

This is a really beautiful post. beautiful, gorgeous rings, photos, and I really enjoyed your written words too. Thanks! Are hawthorn berries bitter? But you can eat it raw?

creative quest said...

Isn't finding good medicine a balm for the soul - even just collecting it and knowing that it is there. All around us. Waiting to heal us. <3

UmberDove said...

Jenn - The raw berries are... astringent. Not bitter necessarily, but still a little punchy (also, they hold a huge seed - be ware!). I'm making my tincture with a pile of fresh berries, slightly mashed, and soaked for 6+ weeks in 190 proof alcohol. When it's ready, I'll put a dropperful into a cup of hot water and sip it slow. Can't wait!

Creative - Amen sister!