Sunday, August 23, 2015

Believe: The Magic of a Garden

Nothing quite whispers "Believe" like a garden.

Believe in the possibility of growth...

Looks like a loaf of bread that somebody threw over my fence next to my Frog Prince, right?
That's what I thought.

It's a giant mushroom that literally grew overnight!

Believe in the beauty of nature...

"The earth laughs in flowers." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Believe in the magic of the greenwood...

Look'll see the little Green Man who guards the door to the Tylwyth Teg in my garden...

I don't have an enchanted way with plants, like the protagonist in my work-in-progress does (the third tale in the Wood & Stone Series), but I have had great pleasure and some success with my herb container garden in my backyard this year.

My pride and joy: chocolate mint...yum. Great in iced tea, as a hot infusion, or in a simple syrup poured over ice cream or tossed in fruit salad! 

And I have been deriving great satisfaction from drying herbs in my kitchen window and creating little sachets of lavender and chocolate mint. Sometimes I need a break from actual writing (egads!) to refresh my thoughts, and dried chocolate mint and lavender crushed together make an intoxicating scent that both calms the senses and clears the mind. The serenity I feel knowing that the green magic of nature is guiding me to express my own creativity is truly priceless. 

I've added a cleansed/charged bloodstone and a fabric leaf to this sachet. Bloodstones are a very dark green jasper, almost black-looking, with red and yellow inclusions that show up best in sunlight.
Bloodstone is one of my favorite stones, and it has an important part to play in the entire Wood & Stone Series...for example:

Aislin kept the necklace in her apron pocket, her secret talisman. She rolled the stone in her fingers as she walked to the market each day, her basket of pies slung over her arm, glancing now and then at the distant forest trees. How different they were from the splintered stalls in the town square, the grit between the cobblestones, the dreary faces of her neighbors peddling and buying their wares. The town was brown and gray, cracked and pale. But the forest exhaled life to her, which the necklace captured in its evergreen depths. Every night she pulled the soft leather through her thumb and forefinger, and the thought that he had braided it sent shivers through her. She slept with it under her pillow. When she was baking, she kept it on the windowsill, fascinated how the sun brightened the stone’s green color and revealed red and yellow sparks of firelight within. 
Excerpt from Love Lies Bleeding: The Lady of the Forest

Aislin's Necklace.
I saw this in a now-defunct shop on Etsy and knew it had to belong to Aislin.
And yes, of course I bought it! 
If you look closely you'll see it around Aislin's neck on the ebook cover...and around my neck in some of my bio pictures.

Bloodstones are quite true to their name: they help emotional centering and bring calmness, but also aid in courage, vitality, and creativity, all symbolic of the heart and the blood. And as with Aislin, their deep green color reminds me of the depths of the forest and the magic that lies therein.

As always, the forest is waiting...
and I would love to share its magic with fellow bookworms!
TOME TENDER BLOG is holding a fantastic giveaway where you can win a "Believe" swag package I've put together including a "The Forest is Waiting" sachet (chocolate mint/lavender/bloodstone) and an inspirational bookmark, 
as well as copies of my e-books.

AND, if you sign up for my CORVUS CALLING email newsletter, you'll also be entered to win a sachet every time I send a newsletter for as long as my herbs last!
 The sign-up form is over there on the sidebar.

What is your favorite herb, and how do you use it? 
I'd love to get some more ideas, so please feel free to comment below!

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