Four little seeds, carried on the wind to a triangular clover field. A triangular field that felt like home. Should we? Could we? We should. We will.
The “self-build” is a unique and challenging experience, where a discussion becomes a solid wooden frame. Your cheek rests against the walls your husband drew. Your repetitive shoveling, sawing, hammering and lifting become the safe, solid warmth that houses your children. But we’re not the only ones forging roots down into the rocky earth of that triangular clover field. It was wonderful to take a moment to look around and observe who had joined us on this journey.
The cheering yellow of Dandelion, a comforting familiar old friend whose nutritious young leaves remind us to eat well and mindfully during times of hard work and stress.
Every pile of soil that we dotted about the plot has been quilted green by splendid Nettles. As I stopped to photograph them they glowed in the sunlight. Each leaf a stained glass tribute to this stinging temple. Like their Dandelion neighbours they remind us of the importance of nutrition. Iron rich, builders of blood, they are a herb that suits a Mother long after those initial postpartum months. Their constituents acknowledging the work of a nursing mother and of a body finding it’s way back to balance after nourishing another.
I was pushing great silvery sheets of insulation into the wall cavity of our sitting room when I noticed the unmistakable mound of Lady’s mantle growing beneath our window. Look at that folded leaf, waiting to unfurl and hold rain and dew in those captivating beads. I knew she’d turn up at my home. The tannins, bitters, salicylic acid and volatile oils in those “lion paw” leaves are often just what I need.
Selfheal’s pinks and purples punctuate our rubble, reminiscent of confetti left on a pavement after a wedding. How useful you could be when the build brings on a tension headache. Or a graze or a bruise. Or when all the dust hurts our throats and eyes. There you are. Sitting quietly, ready for us.
And for my children, the daisies have come. Their favourite ingredient for both chains and bruise balms. Little flowers for little hands, whose golden centres and pure petals are the perfect reflection of children.
Emerging, unfurling, opening and spreading, hairy, downy, soft and spiky, amazing neighbours on the building site.
And more plants will come! Herb after herb after herb will find a home here. Growing with us on our adventure.