I´ve been reconnecting with nature as of lately, it has been intense and if I had the words I would write about it but I don´t.
Something happened this winter. Something definitely happened this winter, in the depth of my unknown, in the silence of the white, in the underlying movement of the ice, in the deep dark forest, in the warm embers of my home; a unconsious shift in perspective and now everything feels new and strange.
Sometimes I think the deprogramming took four years and that´s why it´s only now I experience that… depth… it´s only now I´m even able to notice my surroundings and to take them in.
In a definitively new way.
The world has a million colours, smells, the wind touches me, speaks to me, I go into the woods and I lose myself, I come back… stronger.
It´s very, very strange.
Not like I´m a BETTER person now or anything (and don´t ever dare call me happy!) it´s just kind of like the viking-amish of the outside has sunken into the inside, things are melting into each other, action, words, talk, walk, something happened, surely and so pardon my french but I feel re-born.
Today I´m going to tell you about tea.
One of the more wonderous things about my mother in law (whom is visiting these days) is that fact that she´s a ceramicist.
So this is my tea-cup.
And this is one of the fermentation jars she made for me (the brilliant thing being the water lock: a drill between the jar and the lid, fill it with water and kapam!)
(you can order all of the ceramics ware you find on my blog just sent me an email for info: firstname.lastname@example.org)
I´m a tea drinker. I have a “writing tea” a “reviewing tea” a “reading tea”, a tea for when I´m sick. The tea is ritual to me. Focus.
And also: when we first came to the forest four years ago the first thing we did was to clear an area for our campfire- pulling wild forest raspberry branches out of the ground. It was a tedious and horrible job. As it turns out (and I didn´t know then) each and every plant you encounter have feelings and energies and if you align yourself with these: some plants have healing properties.
Moreso: the world is like a giant pantry, we have everything we need, we are surrounded by food, we don´t NEED all of those structures, all of those container ships, all of those trucks.
Raspberry is good for women (we can call this: Unverified Personal Gnosis) high in all kinds of estrogens, vitamins and minerals, raspberry has become one of my favorite teas.
I also dry the fresh raspberry leafs and store them for winter to use in crock pots, pies and breads (as I do with nettles whom are by the way essential and delicious in the form of pesto). Picking raspberry leafs (and nettle leafs and birch leafs) is my favorite spring time chore, these are the first crops to arrive.
Tea is in essence a fermented beverage. The leaves of the tea bushes (the bush probably have a name) are fermented and then dried before packing and shipped off. Herbal tea is normally not fermented (instead dried) – but since I like the fermentation process and believe it to be very healthy I have become increasingly fond of making my own tea using the raw material around me.
So here´s how you make fermented wild raspberry leaf tea:
First you dress up real, real,real nice for the holy occasion (I recommend gloves when picking raspberries, good shoes, thick pants, I recommend a hat in the spring time, I recommend always carrying a knife)
Then you proceed onwards to the mighty fields of raspberries
Wild forest raspberries grows on areas that have for some reason been cleared or logged.
I have all kinds of hatred towards the logging process itself and all kinds of strong emotions about how raspberries are the first plant to take back the lost territory.
This is, in essence, why raspberry is holy to me. This is what I drink when I drink rasberry leaf tea: taking back territory.
Pick the fresh green sprouting leaves
Roll to crush the leaves (roll it hard)
Chop them up (not too much) and pack the leaves tightly in a jar (let the lid sit loose)
Place the jars in a hot place in your kitchen (I place them close to the wood burning stove) and leave them there for four days, turning the jars upside down once in a while.
The leaves will turn black and smell weird. After four days dry the leaves (I have a drying rack above the wood burning stove) and then store in an airtight container (I´ll post a picture of the leaves in four days time).
This is tea. This is good. This is ritual.
At while you´re at it why not make raspberry leaf muffins, scones or whatever
– always a good way to stuff some health benefits into the mouths of your family!