Stress is a natural part of life. However, there are different kinds of stress. I spent a lot of time thinking about this when Carl and I were in the wilds of northern Maine for the last week. All of the stress we experienced was external and physical. There were long paddles in the kayak, swarms of mosquitos, wet food, and barking dogs. Still, we slept peacefully, with no undue mental burdens.
Here is a slide show from our trip to Rocky Lake and Danforth, East Grand Lake, Maine. We are back for three days and then headed out again for more adventures…. Of course the best remedy for stress and the perfect way to keep a peaceful heart and a tranquil mind is to live simply and spend more time in closer proximity to our dear earth mother– the mother of us all.
Upon our return to Topsham I noticed the immediate return of my unquiet mind accompanied by a mild feeling of discontent. This is status quo for me- especially when coupled with work, kids, and general life concerns. But, mostly there is not a particular problem or issue. Rather, my mind is busy making up problems. Similarly, my body is engaged in panic mode-seemingly with a mind of its own (the body does have a mind of its own).
I decided to do some searching on the internet for some natural remedies for anxiety. I found the Brahmi Oil as well as Tranquil Mind tablets, which I may try especially since I do think my particular anxiety is rooted in the nervous system. This system can present a myriad of symptoms, but in contemporary society these symptoms appear to be exacerbated by a disconnect from nature– of which I am most of the time. Thankfully, it’s back to the woods for us again mid-week.
Yesterday we hiked the Cathance River Preserve in Topsham, Maine. Who knew a treasure like this was right in our back yard?! With over 230 acres of trails, riverfront, and an ecology center, this place was the perfect spot to get lost for four hours (we did get lost).
We foraged a bit. Harvested sweet fern (for making tea), cattails, and berries. The big find of the day was the partridgeberry which didn’t taste like much but was in our book by Tom Seymour (pictured left).
I made sun tea back at the homestead while we were hiking. We were ravenous after being out on the trail for so long. It was also hot- over eighty degrees. So, we came home and picked blueberries and wild strawberries from the backyard and I made some lovely muffins with oatmeal and molasses (and blueberries) of course. I used this “ridiculously easy blueberry recipe” from the web, with only half the sugar and a 1/4 cup of molasses instead, and wholegrain oats in place of the 1/2 cup of flour. Oh, and rice milk instead of regular milk. Plus, I always add a tablespoon of yogurt (in this case coconut milk non-dairy yogurt) to all my baked goods– it makes them moist and fluffy.
We tried the berries, muffins, and assorted dandelion & broadleaf plantain greens (from our yard) with the cattail tops, cooked like corn on the cob. Carl didn’t think much of them, but I found them tasty.
That night as we went to sleep we prayed that nothing we had eaten was poisonous and were grateful to wake up the next day feeling healthy and fit. Here’s a photo of our delicious, but very small feast. As full-time foragers we’d go hungry for sure. Ha.. ha…
July 5th Forage, Topsham, Maine
An amazing weekend foraging with Tom Seymour at the Deer Isle Hostel in Maine. We had no idea what to expect when we signed up for the group tour. Then, I found out we were going to be spending the day with one of my favorite authors, Tom Seymour. Tom has written many books about foraging and fishing on the East Coast and in Maine. Finally, after years of trying to figure things out on my own, I finally had a real expert to guide and teach me.
We found lots of goodies on our walk. Too many to name in a short blog. But, a few of them included goose tongue, crooked dock, sea rocket, oxeye daisy (buds), indian cucumber, golden thread, sea bay, yarrow, and stag horn sumac. Our hosts, and hostel owners Anneli and Dennis were warm and welcoming, inviting us into their home for a shared meal after our trek through the fields, forest, and beach. What a great time! And, as if it could have gotten any better, Mom came along for the ride.