LIFE FORCE: MOTHER'S DAY & FORAGED FLORA, with LOUESA ROEBUCK
"I have said to the worm: thou art my mother and my sister," William Blake, The Complete Illuminated Works
In honor of Mother’s Day here in the U.S. this coming weekend, this week we’re joined by artist, floral designer, textile designer and all around creative Louesa Roebuck, her book Foraged Flora: A Year of Gathering and Arranging Wild Plants and Flowers (Ten Speed Press, 2016), which she co-created with Sarah Lonsdale and photographer Laurie Frankel, is a timely reminder of the heart of mother’s day offerings the world over.
The above quote by William Blake remains one of Louesa's favorites - reflecting the simplicity (and power) of her work and her message, which continues after 20 years to be "in an effort to do no harm in the (floral) world - remember to slow down, look closely, source locally & seasonally, and in true interdependence - the results will be intrinsically gentle and harmonious with the ethos of your heart and the earth."
For Louesa – and thus tangentially for us - the foraged beauty of her landscape offers out a lovely and loving reframing of how to be in our spaces, how to foster deeper seeing, and how to offer your mother - physical and earthly - gratitude and love with intentional time and gesture - perhaps the best mother’s day offering of all.
Louesa joins us today via Skype from her home and garden in Ojai, CA - where she sat with her mother, Maggie, nearby on a visit from Ohio, the wind rustled, and the birds sang.
“I have a long line of women who embraced beauty, created beauty, celebrated beauty - and I am not ashamed of the domestic arts - I think they are extraordinarily valuable - infinitely valuable - our home is our home and to create a beautiful nest to me seems to be one of the most noble endeavors.”
Louesa Roebuck, artist and co-author of Foraged Flora
Foraged Flora reminds us of the heart of mother’s day offerings - time, intention, gratitude and that seeing – REALLY SEEING someone or some place is an act of deep love.
Can you think of anything better for mother’s day than offering your mother, or whomsoever nurtured you in this life, a handpicked posy? A walk in the woods? A picnic by a stream or in a park? I can’t.
THINKING OUT LOUD this week..
You all might have noticed how I love a seasonally aligned calendar date these past few weeks – kicking off our Habitat Series with the Vernal Equinox, ending it with Earth Day – May Day last week and Mother’s day – it could be I am a brainwashed handmaiden for marketing – or….or (let’s hope for this one shall we?), that I am tapping into something I long for increasing in my own life and daily rhythms - this very idea of seasonal alignment and the natural impulse to ritually mark it and celebrate it.
Earth Day and Mother’s Day were chosen to happen with the heady first flush of spring for good reasons – your own natural energy is ready for such generative acknowledgement and reflective creativity – the Vernal Equinox is celestial and May Day is an ancient day of Spring Fete as well.
While anything can be reduced to a sound bite and grocery story greeting card – it’s up to us to reclaim these days and seasons in our own ways – to our own expansion and deepening individually and culturally. Not because someone told us, or we feel obligated to – but because our cellular impulse calls us to this marking of time, space, place and meaning.
Happy Mother’s Day to anyone who has ever mothered another and anyone who has ever been fortunate enough to be mothered – by person or place. This greatly transcends gender or sexual orientation as anyone in the above two groups knows.
And if there’s ever a time of year to lay down in full body contact with this generous earth who carries along our way every day of our lives – providing the air, water, food, beauty, daylight and night-time dark we need to thrive – this is that season.
DO IT – lay down on her – put your bare feet to her and remember you are reliably held by her, carried by her - through everything.
I know I get a little touchy feely sometimes, but no one else has to see you – so just humor me. You’ll be glad you did.
Seeing REALLY Seeing is an act of deep love.
Think about this. Give yourself time. And then consider this as you consider your own mother and father, your siblings, your kids, your friends, your garden. Your larger landscape that whizzes by.
These all - in some form or another - constitute your home.
That’s it – that’s all. What do you really see?
I hope you really see and really love them all – embracing in the ways that work for you the domestic arts that constitute caring for all these lives that help make up your home.
Happy Mother's Day!
WAYS TO SUPPORT CULTIVATING PLACE
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