**Ships July 1 (or maybe before if ready by then)**
The world is run on effort: we try to make ourselves tougher, faster, more driven, focused, and efficient. Sometimes, life feels like its too much: too much pain, too much stimulation, too much information, too much suffering. We tense ourselves as if to do battle daily, to block our soft hearts from the onslaughts of the world around us. Our soft, tender hearts are very safe here, but they also cannot experience or connect with much of the world in this way. Safe behind the walls of our own making, we get to observe the world without truly interacting with it. We experience without vulnerability, without the threat of being touched by our experiences.
Except, as you probably know, after a while this can start to feel like a prison. We feel separate from the world, and from ourselves. ‘Safe’ can feel good in some ways, but in others it is like a beautiful, stagnant trap.
When I feel like this, I sit under a tree and close my eyes, breathe, and start paying attention to my senses: my body, tense as it is; the ground underneath me, cold and hard. When I feel like this, I reach for Wild Rose.
The scent comes first: you smell the roses, and your diaphragm relaxes a little. When your diaphragm relaxes, so, too, can your belly relax a little. Revel in this little softening— allow it to unfurl as a flower might in the morning sun. Slowly, the rest of you follows: shoulders, jaw, forehead, chest. The next time you open your eyes, the world is back, full of colour, scent, sound, beauty. The air feels like a gift on your skin; the light strokes your eyes with adoration; your heart beats and pulses and is touched by the moment, no matter how mundane. I won’t lie— there are times that I’ve wept with gratitude upon emerging from my own protective shell: it is a return to self (that can be slightly scary at first softening, but is so, so worth it).
The gift of the wild rose is this: they soften our tense, hard-shells. But because they are clever, they don’t leave us without our own thorns of defence. Rose’s astringency tightens tissues, and it does this on a tissue-based level, but it also does so on a grand scale, to our *energy* as a whole, which means that as we’re softening, we’re also tightening up, starting to be able to tell where we end and the world around us begins. We become much more capable of knowing who we are and as a result, where our boundaries are. Softening and strengthening, relaxing and tightening, the most beautiful soft petals and sensual scent, and those thorns that will cut you without second thought.
The medicine of the wild rose is paradoxical, and oh, so necessary for these times, when what we want more than anything is to retreat inside ourselves for protection, but what we *need* is to soften, blossom, open and accept both ourselves and each other.
The Briar & Blossom box is a box of heart-centered-softening, love-inducing, tenderness and self-kindness. A love song to the Wild Rose, and an exploration of their medicine, all delivered in a linen-wrapped package, and delivered to your front door.
I’ll be working with various plants, with an emphasis on wild rose blossoms, and hips, with a cameo by hawthorn flowers, shatavari, and pedicularis.
In this box, you’ll receive four products. There will be a tincture or elixir; a tea, a drinkable thing (tea or such); an external use product, be it a bath (or foot bath), body oil or possibly an incense or atmosphere mist; and a culinary item. Possible ideas so far include:
The 4 products chosen will come beautifully wrapped in linen, containing a bi-fold describing the herbs used, and a couple of recipes.