I just finished eating a bowl of venison stew made with mushroom soup, juniper berries, dryad's saddle mushrooms, wild rice from the western Upper Peninsula, and kale from my garden. As I sat in my backyard enjoying my supper, I watched as a pair of Cooper's Hawks, born just this year, glided between the large white oak trees that watch over my home. As my eyes traveled down the beautiful gray trunks of these wise trees, I noticed a knot hole, just the right size for a hive of bees. It was too far away for these blue eyes to see; it would take a pair of binoculars to confirm. My eyes continued on their journey, marveling at the gifts that surrounded me.
First they took in the grape vines that wind and twist down my old metal fence, loaded with the promise of deep purple grape juice in the fall. I saw the dark brown seeds of Curly Dock which I will harvest to make a gruel. Yellow rose hips hang like ornaments on a Solstice tree, dangling from the fragrant pink rose bushes that an old woman planted long ago. They will give me a nutritious tea in the wintertime to help me keep colds at bay.
I gazed at the two apple trees that shade my bees. The Macintosh is absolutely covered in apples this year, many without a spot on them. I never use chemicals. This year the bugs decided to share with me. I look over at the bees going in and out of their hives, bringing in pollen and nectar, making the most delicious honey that ever was. Their pollen baskets are so big and yellow I can see them from quite a distance away. When the sun is just right, I can watch their flight paths...some flying up and out, others spiraling to gain height then disappearing over the apple trees. I wonder where they go.
My black raspberries have done their work and gifted me with many sweet juicy berries this year. Behind the raspberries the beautiful green leaves and tall stalks of Jerusalem artichokes command attention, towering amongst the orange-flowered trumpet vines and lavender Rose of Sharon bushes. Soon the chokes' dazzling yellow flowers will appear. But the best part lies just beneath the surface of the ground. Their tasty tubers, my favorite of all time, are to die for.
And it doesn't stop there. I look to the garden beds, so neglected by this forager, and they are bursting with color. Blazing star looks like a blue torch lighting the day. Splashes of white, yellow and orange dot the vines and herbs and climbers. New green tomatoes, starting to show color, tempt me with the promise of their heavenly taste. Cherokee purples, Garden Peach and other heirlooms I have never tried. It is not the best year for tomatoes, but still they provide.
As I sit here in my living sharing my Sacred world with you, the house wren babies that were born in the clay flower pot on my front porch are noisily begging for more food. They will fledge soon and once again there will be stillness outside my front door. I will miss them.
All these things so freely given to me by the Trees and the Plants and the Bees and the Birds. Some call them resources. I call them gifts. How blessed are we.