Sitting underneath a huge stone placed here by the people of the Pyrenees thousands of years ago, I was surprised at how weightless the mass above me felt. Like it was floating.
The giant capstone touches the stones beneath in just a few places, so that there is a lot of space around the edges where light comes in and I can see trees and sky outside.
Of course the slab of stone above me is actually super heavy and I can only wonder at the effort needed to move it here. I wonder at the momentum and motivation inside the hearts of people who did this. Who moved landscape in this way to honour something, or someone, to leave a mark.
We have the ability to shape the Earth in a conscious way. Not only in the incidental ways of leaving footprints and fossils, or the mistaken ways of turning forest into desert or mono-cropped fields, but in creative and reverent ways.
How does it feel to leave a mark on Earth, in the way the dolmen builders did, which is about honouring it rather than taking from it?
I think this comes from a place beyond the survival instinct. Beyond making sure I am OK in this moment. From a place in us that is willing to take a bigger step than is comfortable. A place that is prepared to move mountains for the benefit of life on Earth.
Leaning on the stones I felt their stillness and my springiness. Their density and my breeziness. Their coolness and my warmth. I don’t completely understand this dolmen, but I know I like it and am glad it is here.
I just be with the stones. In the presence of their unmoving mass I feel my bones. I feel something in me which creates movement, breathing, singing, hunger. Life. While the stones go on being in the same spot for millions of years. I feel the potential for movement in my skeleton, the self-propulsion of my body. I feel my own fleetingness on Earth. The fragility of my life.
Stone and bone are self-organised into elemental structures. All life shares these elements. Over millions of years the stones will turn to dust, to soil, to plant life, to animal life.
Maybe they will experience what it is to breathe, to eat and to sing. For a flash in time. Before turning back to dust and rock again, to be moved only by wind, water and hands.
There are beautiful, medicinal and tasty plants abundant all around us. It is so easy to enjoy them by making herbal tea!
Lately I have found fennel, fig leaves, blackberry leaves, rosemary and sage to use for tea.
I love taking herbal tea this way, without the packaging or food miles involved in the shop bought teas. Just a good wash.
When someone showed me that the little paper packets each tea bag is wrapped in contains plastic, so can't even be composted, I heard the call inside me that I needed to find another way to enjoy herbal tea. I am determined to make the transition.
Some other herbs for making tea are...
- Nettle (pick the fresh tips)
- Dandelion (root or leaf)
- Wild rose petal
- Birch leaves
- Pine needles
Nettle is a good cleansing tea, and chamomile great for relaxation. I only pick herbs that are abundant and that I definitely recognise as safe to eat.
Garden herbs are also great for teas and easy to come across...
- Blackcurrant leaf
- Lemon Verbena
- Lemon balm
Enjoy a nice hot cuppa!