02 April, 2009

What you take back with you.

I went to a yoga seminar*, and all I brought back was some awareness, a measure of serenity and a Dysentery Yellow telephone. I did yoga, day and night (...), and broke bread with some good friends, so I've no photos. But I'll post a view from up the road instead, just a few minutes walk from where I am sitting right now. About the phone. It really is that color (the secondhand shop gets credit for the dysentery description), from the 50s, and requires no electricity. Handy thing for when you have a power outage; we had another one last week. Back to basics.

While I was gone, nothing stopped (oddly enough): Spring is bursting out all over in an excess of passion. I'm celebrating being back home by having a cup of tea, made with a sprig of fresh lemon verbena from the garden and a smidge of dark, thick pine honey from my beekeeper neighbor. Lemon verbena, or aloysia triphylla, is a native of Chile and Peru, but can grow happily in lots of conditions. It is such a great plant to have, whether in a pot or in the ground, where it can reach rather massive proportions. It has loads of culinary uses beyond tea (the dried leaves retain their scent a very long time), but just infusing it--dried or fresh--comes pretty high on my list. With its strong lemony scent, it manages to be both relaxing and uplifting. It's a good anti-coffee, for when you feel like a break from the caffeine. Wander into your local nursery, and leave with one of these spiky-leaved, pale green plants. They're generous.

*The seminar was given by Judith, whose Living with Yoga makes for a great read. Seeing her in person is even better (she teaches internationally). At the seminar: "The ability to be ambivalent is a sign of health." Hmm. If so, I'm rolling in the good stuff. City energy or country space? Coffee or lemon verbena? The fortunate manage to get a taste of both.

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