May 8th - Its strange times we are in at the moment but nature doesn’t seem to notice – the wheel turns and she is busy with her fabulous tapestry across our countryside and gardens. The tall hedgerow I walk past daily was once bare branches – spindly brown fingers against the cold grey sky. Today it is green, very much alive, filled with blossoms of various kinds, all jutting their heads to the sun and waiting for the bees to come along. The once fallow field has been ploughed and new green shoots are growing fast, turning the field into a lush green carpet. Birds sing, butterflies flutter by and insects buzz around on the warm breeze. Flowers spotted so far are: poppies, common storks bill, periwinkle, buttercup, hawthorn, ground ivy, sea cushion and red campion. Elderflower is starting to open too. I feel fortunate that I can wander around my village which is interspersed with fields and hedgerows, with the shore only 10 minutes away and switch my mind off from what is going on, even if just a little while, to just be within nature and just listen...
May 13th - The weather is a little cooler this week although still nice and sunny. I’ve been keeping an eye on the elderflower this past week as I shall be making elderflower cordial again this year and will post the recipe below for anyone that wishes to have a go. I follow a recipe posted by my lovely friend and fellow hearth guardian Sue and it is just delicious! It definitely invokes feelings of warm summer days with a picnic and balmy evenings sat in the garden with some candles.
May 18th - Today took me out of my village to another village for a spot of fishing at a beautiful lake surrounded by trees, wild flowers and grasses and nature. It is warm and the sun pokes his way through the tree branches. I spot Canada Geese and smile as they honk to one another, water boatman at the lake edges, dragonflies darting from reed to reed, mayflies and a lone moth flittering in the sunlight.
A Candle Spell for Hope
As the weeks pass by, little bits of our lives very slowly start to move positively forward in these unprecedented times. We have no idea what lies ahead but hopefully, we will be able to live a life, if not the same but similar to that what we did before. It is a time of hope and we send our wishes out to the universe.
I worked a candle spell for hope using the following:
Hawthorn flower – for hope
Snow Quartz crystal – for calm energy
Rose Quartz – for comfort
Kenaz rune – for inspiration
Calendula – optimism
Rose Petal – healing
White Candle – healing, purity
Light the candle and focus on the flame. As you focus, intently voice all the things that you hope for as time progresses. It may be something for you: to see family and friends, for you all to safely return to doing things that you enjoy. Your intention may be for the world around us, to hope for an ever-decreasing decline of the virus, to end the uncertainty, and the pain felt by those that have lost loved ones. When you are ready say ‘blessed be!’ let the candle burn down.
Yesterday I picked elderflower to make cordial. Beautiful and delicate blooms that although don’t have a lot of scent, come into their own when steeping in a sugar syrup and lemon juice. I gave thanks to the elder as I picked the blooms and when I got home, made sure that there was food out for the birds that visit my garden.
You will need:
25 Elder flower Heads
2lb/1kg Unrefined Sugar
2 un waxed lemons
2oz/50g Citric Acid or 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 pints/1 litre boiling water
Put the sugar in a large pan with the boiled water and stir to dissolve, leave to cool. Shake the elder flowers to expel any lingering insects, remove the stems and add to the cooled syrup. Wash, grate, squeeze and cut the lemons, add to the elder flower syrup with the citric acid. Cover and leave for 48 hours, stirring occasionally. Strain through a muslin lined sieve and pour into clean bottles with screw tops. Dilute to taste with either water or sparkling water. You can also freeze the cordial into ice cubes and add to your favourite cocktails.
Recipe by kind permission from Sue Perryman. Link to her blog on Elderflower here: