Tuesday, October 2, 2007

October's Bright Blue Weather

We have been having a streak of gorgeous weather. Ah, autumn. It calls to mind one of my favorite poems by Helen Hunt Jackson, "October's Bright Blue Weather".
O suns and skies and clouds of June,
And flowers of June together,
Ye cannot rival for one hour
October's bright blue weather,
When all the lovely wayside things
Their white-winged seeds are sowing,
And in the fields, still green and fair,
Later aftermaths are growing;
When springs run low and on the brooks,
In the golden freighting,
Bright leaves sink noislessly in the bush
Of woods, for winter waiting;
When comrades seek sweet country haunts,
By twos and twos together,
And count like misers hour by hour,
October's bright blue weather,
O suns of skies and flowers of June,
Count all your boasts together,
Love loveth best of all the year
October's bright blue weather.

And October's birth flower is the pot marigold, or calendula. Not to be confused by other marigolds which are common in gardens, calendula is a venerable herb. It's orange or yellow petals are edible (which is why it was called pot marigold - throw the petals into the cooking pot). The color lets you know calendula is high in flavonoids. A tea of the petals can be drunk to help inflammation of the digestive tract. Externally, calendula makes an excellent remedy for skin inflammation. I make an infused calendula oil and a wonderful salve (Healing Comfort) that has both calendula and comfrey in it. One of the best things I have ever tried for soothing rough, irritated skin on hands, heels or knees. I garden and stitch with silk. If I didn't have this salve, I would not be able to stitch as the silk thread catches on any skin that isn't as smooth as, well, silk. My husband uses Healing Comfort salve to repair his hands as he must wash his hands often with a harsh soap at work. A dear friend used this salve during her chemo treatments. Her feet were swollen and sore and this is the only thing that worked for her. My brother used it on his radiation scars to excellent effect. It is a good thing. Calendula is easy to grow too. The large seeds germinate quickly in the spring. It's an annual, but one that self-sows quite readily. Calendula is 2008's Herb of the Year. I encourage you to grow and know calendula!

To order Healing Comfort Salve go to www.GreenSpiralHerbs.com and click on the shopping link.

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