Earth Wisdom Tarot Sacred Art

A Self-Care Sabbath

in Island Life, Spiritual Practice

Yesterday turned into a self-care day — a sabbath on Friday, Freyas-Day, instead of Saturn-Day or Sun-Day. Freya’s Day is appropriate for self-care I think, as the lovely Nordic goddess of love & beauty would Herself say.

I worked long hours early in the week on projects for clients plus writing the deck & book proposal for the Gaian Tarot. This was followed by two stressful town days, dealing with car repairs and a mini-health crisis with my dad. Pop is nearly 89 years old, so any small health crisis is potentially a large one. I have to admit I allowed myself to be thrown off center by this, and went into a state of semi-high anxiety which is, of course, exhausting.

Capricorns seem to be hard-wired into worry-mode, overly fearful and cautious. It’s one of our biggest challenges. And yet I do have to say to the “don’t worry, be happy” contingent that experience has taught me that sometimes, the worst that can happen, does.

Pop himself is not worried and doesn’t want me to be, either. “Que sera, sera” he sings, quoting the old Doris Day tune from the 50’s. “We have good health care, and we’ll do the best we can, and you just can’t worry about the rest,” he tells me. Later, after lunch at his favorite buffet, he says to me, “I like my life. It’s . . . nice.” And I think about my friend Nora’s favorite saying: “the gift you give is the gift you get.” Kind of an update on “do unto others.” My dad’s life is good, and satisfying, because he has been so kind and good to so many others.

I slept in until 7 AM on Friday (unheard of, for me) and rose feeling depleted instead of energized. It was a beautiful morning and I needed to be outside instead of off in cyberspace, tied to my desk. Days like this are the reason I’ve structured my life so that I work at home on my own schedule, while still meeting deadlines. I decided to spend the morning in the garden and get back to work later in the day.

I’ve planted mostly native plants, herbs and flowers in my garden. I decided not to grow food since there’s an organic farm just up the hill and another one on the west side. The island organic farmers grow such amazing and abundant food, there’s no reason for me to do it too. I’m kind of a lazy gardener. I do love to plant and weed, but I’m not compulsive about gardening as some people are. Rather I should say it’s not my chosen art form, as it is for many people. So I haven’t spend too much time out there yet this spring, and yesterday was the day.

I just love weeding when I’m feeling stressed. It is so satisfying to pull those prickly thistles out by the roots, and to pull on the horsetail roots, so like long ropes, and get them all out to make room for my herbs and flowers. I rediscovered lots of old friends – the Stargazer Lilies are budding, Sweetgrass is flourishing, and Lilac is just beginning to bloom. Rosemary, sadly, didn’t make it through that freezing snap we had in December, and I cut her dead limbs back to the root.

I breathed in the heady scents of apple mint, lavender, sage, oregano and thyme. And I grazed as I worked, munching on slightly bitter dandelion leaves and tangy garlic chives, followed by a digestif of peppermint.

Tami and Noah (age 1) came out to enjoy the sunshine. Noah helped me weed. He especially liked the dandy-lions, plucking off the flower heads and holding them up for me to see. “Pua,” Momma said, teaching him the Hawaiian word for flower. He sniffed the pua deeply, then put it in his mouth to check it out. Grimacing a bit, he tried the leaves instead, before settling on taste-testing the dirt.

I’ll never look at dandelions again without thinking of the Teacher, with that twinkle in his eye, cradling the sunny plant in his hands as if it were pure gold. And it is, of course. I set aside the leaves as I weeded, some for my noon salad and some for the rabbit down the road.

By noon the wind was getting quite chilly so I went inside and made myself a low-fat vegan tostada for lunch (my usual). After working in the garden, I felt a lot more grounded and satisfied than I did when I woke, but I wasn’t ready to go back to work. So I declared the rest of the day to be a self-care day and got in the bathtub. I’ll never regret buying this oversized tub, even if I don’t fill it up very often. It’s my living altar to Aphrodite, this tub. I poured in the “Wrapped in Comfort” bath salts made by my friends at Tree Frog Farm, and promptly fell asleep.

I spent the rest of the day reading, napping, writing in my journal, listening to the birds and daydreaming about what to plant in the area south of the house around the new deck. Later, just after sunset, my lovely man and I went out for a walk with Sage the dog and Smokey the cat. We walked down to the water and around the bay, soaking in a million shades of blue (with a touch of vermilion orange on the horizon). Sweet peace, this blue of water, blue of sky, blue of close and distant islands. Above us, Jupiter kissed La Luna and Aphrodite embraced the Seven Sisters. Sweet, sweet peace. What will be, will be.

Everyone should have a self-care Sabbath now and then, don’t you think?

Thoughtful, sparkling comments. . .

  • Loretta Sun - Apr 11th 2004 4:26 pm

    A lovely day depicted by a lovely writer. Thanks for a peek into your reverie.