Finally, she has arrived, spring is here.
The hills are covered in sheets of golden poppies. The smell of fresh cut grass lingers in the air. My eyes feast on magnificent blooms flanking the neighborhood. The streets bustle with strollers, dogs, and bicycles. It seems as though everyone is outside, anxious to feel the warmth of sunshine on their skin. All that nature offers feels fresh and new.
I spent the remaining days of winter daydreaming about warmer days and prolonged hours of sunlight, while contemplating what this time of year represents for me and how I welcome the change in my life and home.
Outwardly, what spring looks like for me is sitting in the baseball bleachers proudly watching my son run the bases, spending time in my kitchen making mocktails and vibrantly colored salads, and starting the process of bringing the outdoors into my home. Windows are wide open, fresh cut flowers are strewn throughout my home, and my new fragrance, no.6, (a blend of geranium, ambrette seed, and sandalwood), is diffusing (it also comes in a mist that has been a joy to spray on linens). Inwardly it signifies new beginnings, rebirth, and a welcome supplement to a journey I have been on, one which finds me as my most stable, loving, and accepting version of myself.
Over a year ago I embarked on a path of sobriety. Feeling a discontent with where I was spiritually, I knew I wanted and needed to make a drastic change. Intoxicants seemed to be a contrary aid for a life I intuitively felt was mine. I was raised with what some call an “alternative” or “holistic” approach to health and wellbeing and holdfast to these things. I create natural fragrances and body care, eat mostly organic, spend as much time as I can outdoors, and practice yoga. I saw myself as a woman leading a healthy lifestyle yet I desired to dull or numb my senses. Why did I have such a hard time just sitting in my emotions? Why did I feel compelled to numb myself? October 6th, 2017 marks the start of my abstinence from alcohol.
I spent the majority of the following 8 months high on life. Not since my two pregnancies had I gone more than a month without a sip of alcohol. I felt renewed, accomplished, and clear. Until I didn’t anymore. A familiar restlessness and loneliness crept in telling me to “be social” and drink again. This spiraled quickly. One drink turned into two, which turned into an entire bottle and I found myself disappearing into that dark and familiar place, but this time it no longer comforted me. Perhaps it never did. It didn’t take long to connect the dots that sobriety was what I needed to continue to grow in the ways I desired.
Fast forward to today and how abstinence from drugs and alcohol pertains to the theme of this post: spring.
Settling into this new self, I feel renewed. Like a budding cherry blossom on its branch, so am I, flowering with newness. I am learning new things about myself and finding I am capable of things I hadn’t thought possible. Simple things like managing my reactions to certain situations. I am settling into a newfound ability to breathe through upsets, rationalize, and soothe myself in ways I wasn’t previously capable of. I have the ability now to recognize which relationships no longer nurture my soul’s well being, thus allowing me to make room for new ones to develop. I am enjoying my own company and learning to get to know myself in a whole new way. I have made the decision to love myself—a concept that has felt foreign most of my life. I feel that when our bodies and minds are aligned with our higher power, magic starts to unfold. I’m excited. I have so much to look forward to and I have only just begun this love affair. I am committed to me.
This season I will revel in this newfound desire to make friends with myself and be kinder than ever to my body. I will give all of the time needed to watch my beautiful son navigate his way through his teen years—helping raise a young man of such compassion and integrity is an honor. I will witness, at a distance, the unfolding of my daughter’s journey into young adulthood—I rest in constant adoration of the sweet life she is building with her cat and loving boyfriend. I will continue to frolic on mountain tops (no, not usually dressed as pictured in this shoot), grateful for each sip of clean air. I will soak up moments with friends that find us with bellies aching from hysterical laughter and will even cherish the days that end in tear-stained cheeks, grateful for the sacred space of each other’s arms. I will dance in my studio (playlist here) creating Elaia, sometimes with a silly grin on my face and talking aloud to just myself.
This is spring, a time for all things to bloom. A time to watch myself blossom into a brand new me.
The happiest of Spring Equinox to all!
Rose infused blood orange mocktail:
4-6 blood oranges
honey (I prefer raw honey myself)
dried rose buds or petals
*Make the infused honey at least one week in advance. To infuse fill a glass 4 oz mason jar with dried rose buds. (Link here) Next warm your honey of choice and completely cover roses. Stir gently, let cool then cover and let this infuse for a week or two in a cool dry place. After this time has passed, heat again and strain through honey into a new jar. You won’t have 4 ounces but enough for your mocktail mixture for sure.
Juice blood oranges. In a glass pitcher or large bowl add 2 cups juice. Next heat your rose infused honey over very low heat just to liquify a bit or let thin in a bowl of hot water. This makes it easier to blend with the juice. Add two tablespoons of your honey and mix well. I added roughly about two tablespoons of fresh mint leaves chopped or torn coarsely. Muddle all of this together. Fill your favorite 16oz glass with ice and 1/2 cup of your mint and rose infused juice. Fill the rest of the cup with sparkling water. Garnish with a slice of orange and fresh mint twig.
Bask in some sunlight and enjoy!