Winter Stores

Dry Mint

My land has so many gifts. Day after day, they greet me. Violet leaves and mint, oregano and basil. Summer is generous beyond comprehension.

This year I've decided to store up these gifts. When I trim back the mint, I put it on a tray in the sun. It dries into furled, fragrant dark green curls that look a bit like seashells. In fact, each day I harvest something... rose petals or raspberry leaves... and use the energy of summer's sun to save up surprises for winter teas and soups.

Storing up for the future. I am learning. And this past weekend, it came home to me that this is a way of being, of sustenance, that I want to encourage in all areas of my life.

See, a dear friend of mine passed away. Suddenly. Unexpectedly. I am stricken, to the depths of my soul. I feel like I am falling into nothingness.

Even so... for a time, when I sat with my God-family Sunday morning, and the vocabulary of faith that has been stored up began to flow... in song, in prayer, in the ritual of communion, in the sharing of scripture... I felt like I was being borne up in someone's arms. It occurred to me that this did not come out of nowhere, but that it drew on a strength that has been built up over time.

To everything there is a season. A time to plant. And a time to harvest. A time to reach into the storehouse.

Dried Mint photo by L.L. Barkat.


L.L.'s Instructions

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess in life we never know what we are storing up for. I'm so thankful you are seeing God's hand of comfort tenderly caress your cheek in this pain.

5:47 PM  
Blogger Maria said...

Sorry to hear of your loss, LL. Thanks for the beautiful words about storing up...

9:55 PM  
Blogger Llama Momma said...

May God's mercy be tangible to you today, enveloping your breath and your words and your heart.

Come, Lord Jesus.

9:16 AM  
Blogger Aisling said...

l.l., I'm so sorry to hear about your friend. Sending prayers...

9:55 PM  
Blogger Christianne said...

This was a beautiful post, Laura. The line that moved me most deeply was the part about being born up in someone's arms. It reminds me of the some of the themes of Kathleen Norris's "The Cloister Walk," where she talks often of the rituals of the faith and how they meet us in our everyday moments or big, great moments.

So sorry to hear about your friend.

12:21 AM  
Blogger Zayannee said...

What a wonderful post. You have found beauty even in death. My mom is a nurse for Hospice and she has taught me that death is just as much a part of life as being born and that sometimes in death good things happen even though you feel loss, familes are brought together and we finally get to meet our maker.

I pray you find comfort in the Lord!

3:50 PM  
Blogger Mama Monk said...

i have been away for awhile. it was so good to come back and to read your words. thank you for your insightful way of living and seeing the world. it is beautiful.

9:29 AM  

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