Sunday morning I enjoyed an extra ten minutes in bed without the aggressive love of my toddler. Free to repose without being used as a horsey or beanbag, I relaxed in a spaciousness that felt infinite with the absence of pleas for stories and “hot winks”. As my dreaming soul began to retreat in the changing of the guard, it was able to whisper one last thing before the sergeant of daytime took over. An inner landscape unfolded, I saw a golden crown and felt a little nudge…
“The Evening Primrose request your presence.”
Ah, yes! It is early July and the pale light coming in the windows tells me that our “true summer” has arrived. The day has dawned without agenda, and today that clearly means one thing…time for a visit to Secret Beach.
Jeff brought me coffee, biscuits, and a bowl of homemade plum jam (look for that on Wednesday) and we plotted our adventure. Clothes were hastily thrown on, snacks and water were stuffed in a bag, and we rolled out of the house early enough that Jeff said, “My body isn’t ready to be outdoors yet”. Too bad buddy! When Place calls to you, you heed that call.
This is the first summer where I actually feel grateful to see the fog roll in. Anyone who has ever had a five minute conversation with me knows my deep resentment towards summer in San Francisco. However, given our warm and utterly abnormal winter, plus the way the rest of the country is frying in record breaking heat, I am so happy for what feels like normalcy in regards to climate.
Mama? I want my benna with the moos and stahz. If you can decipher that, we will put you on our babysitter list.
Solanum xanti. Purple nightshade, chaparral nightshade.
The fruit. NOT edible.
Sea Figs are just about ripe.
Ok. Help a mother out. WHAT is this plant/flower? I’ve been trying to ID it for two years. It’s not dune tansy and it’s not yarrow and it’s not goldenrod. Rachel, do you know?
Follow me to the Queen!
There she was, in the same spot I found her last year. “Hooker’s” Evening Primrose. I deciphered her call in a beautiful and synchronous way, which I will share for Foraging Fridays this week.
I knew we would come upon an enticement that she would not be able to resist.
I dreamed of having a tree house when I was a kid (The lack of which still smarts. MOM and DAD I’m looking at YOU.). So it was not without a certain amount of satisfaction that I poo-pooed Jeff’s hesitation and led the expedition, followed closely by my pint sized side-kick.
See? It’s perfectly safe. Clean even. There’s nothing to…OH MY GOD, WHAT DID YOU JUST PUT IN YOUR MOUTH? Ancient raisin snack of unknown origin? Awesome. Keep building that immune system.
Getting down was a bit tricky, involving leverage and lowering of small tykes. I waivered before my descent, shouting to Jeff, “Did I ever tell you I’m afraid of heights?”. As cozy as the tree house was, I wasn’t prepared to spend the night, so I finally took the leap.
Only one way to finish an expedition. Swing, swing, swing!
I know. You’re all admiring my fine choice of 70’s poncho with garish silver 80’s kangaroo sneaks. Don’t be jealous.
St Francis of Assisi, after whom our fine city is named, wrote The Canticle of the Sun in 1228. It is a declaration of his personal theology, and one that I have an affinity for too. But considering how sunshine packs it’s bags and heads inland during our summer months, I think a renaming should be considered.
We have been enjoying the gorgeous children’s book Brother Sun, Sister Moon, which is a beautiful retelling of the canticle. The illustrations alone are worth checking out. It has been informing our mornings, as we read it almost every day, the perfect frame for enjoying the gifts of long summer days.
Here is the original version. We live in a beautiful world!
The Canticle of the Sun
Most high, all powerful, all good Lord!
All praise is yours, all glory, all honor, and all blessing.
To you, alone, Most High, do they belong.
No mortal lips are worthy to pronounce your name.
Be praised, my Lord, through all your creatures,
especially through my lord Brother Sun,
who brings the day; and you give light through him.
And he is beautiful and radiant in all his splendor!
Of you, Most High, he bears the likeness.
Be praised, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars;
in the heavens you have made them bright, precious and beautiful.
Be praised, my Lord, through Brothers Wind and Air,
and clouds and storms, and all the weather,
through which you give your creatures sustenance.
Be praised, My Lord, through Sister Water;
she is very useful, and humble, and precious, and pure.
Be praised, my Lord, through Brother Fire,
through whom you brighten the night.
He is beautiful and cheerful, and powerful and strong.
Be praised, my Lord, through our sister Mother Earth,
who feeds us and rules us,
and produces various fruits with colored flowers and herbs.
Be praised, my Lord, through those who forgive for love of you;
through those who endure sickness and trial.
Happy those who endure in peace,
for by you, Most High, they will be crowned.
Be praised, my Lord, through our Sister Bodily Death,
from whose embrace no living person can escape.
Happy those she finds doing your most holy will.
The second death can do no harm to them.
Praise and bless my Lord, and give thanks,
and serve him with great humility.