The time change has occurred here and the sun is setting at about quarter to 5. It means more sleep for all of us, because darkness just…makes us start nodding our heads. While I was teaching SouLodge with Snake in September, we made a practice of going to bed with the sundown, waking up a bit in the night to commune with our thoughts and the spirits, and experiencing a second sleep for starting the day feeling really refreshed. Women reported never having slept so well and of vivid dreams and recall. SouLodge is always an adventure that way. We open the portals with care and step right in to see what medicine will come.
I’ve since added a morning ritual of warm oil self-massage and drinking very warm (but not hot!) water for hours after waking. Oh, and have I mentioned that I scrape my tongue each morning now, too? I used to drink water upon waking, but now I clean everything out of my mouth first. Try it! It makes sense, right? My energy level is finally what it was before Ivy was born and my whole world turned upside down. Sleep matters. Flushing out the system daily works wonders.
I’m watching the green ones curl up and go back to the Earth, the nicotiana and sage are ready to be harvested one last time, and the mullein is giving the weather it’s best shot at hanging in there. The magic is held in watching them surrender, and resisting the temptation to grieve their going. In my conversations with my plant allies, I never sense the anxiety we humans have about change. They just go with the flow. Why would they question their death and rebirth?
We had our first hailstorm of the season, which made me instantly crave rich soup. After slacking on cooking for a season or two, I tend to find my kitchen magic when the temps drop. I whipped up this from memory and thought you might like to try it, because it was so very tasty-though rather indulgent. It’s so basic and takes only 45 minutes from start to finish. You may have to use your imagination on the parts I didn’t measure! I peeled the potatoes before turning on the fire, and it saved my onions from overcooking. This soup is dairy-rific, so modify it in your way if you need to.
Wintery Potato Soup
4 slices local bacon, half an onion, 3 cloves garlic, 8 medium russets, 6 cups chicken broth, flour & milk, salt, pepper, & thyme.
Slice the bacon into small slices and place in stockpot over medium low heat and remove to a little bowl on the side
Dice onion and garlic and toss into the bacon leavings, sauté on low for 5 minutes
Peel and dice potatoes and toss in with onions-cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring with the onions.
Add chicken broth and turn up to boil then bring it back down a bit
Add salt, pepper and thyme
Whisk a bit of milk with a bit of flour (just enough to give the soup some body) and add it to your pot
Cook for about five minutes more until potatoes are tender, reduce heat
Scoop out about half of the soup carefully into a measuring cup and pour it (carefully) into a blender and purée.
Add back to your pot, stir together and add some half and half, as well!
Top with bacon and shredded cheese, too, if you like! YUM.
Feeds about 6 around your candlelit table or fireplace and makes for lots of moaning and yumming.
How are you spending your darker days?