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Slow Living Full To The Brim and Meaningful

Is there a time of year when you find yourself super busy? Maybe too busy? For sure too busy? When you don't know how you'll squeeze it all in? Yes? You understand how it can be. I'm there right now.

Lucky for me, what's over-eating my days are the jobs - and people - I love. That does make it easier. As is the fact that it hasn't come upon me unaware. August is like this every year. I spent July psyching myself up.

slim woman in pink shirt holds a bunch of freshly picked lavender. Tree and blue sky in background.

My life is seasonal. It's a giant cycle. It's funny when I stop to think about it: my life revolves around the sun. I guess everyone's life does. But it's easy to forget. Until August arrives.

I live what's now called a "slow" life. Without the trendy label, it's just my life.

The term slow living invokes a fantasy of frolicking outdoors in Tuscany, picking a single ripe plum, strolling lazily through the orchard, nothing urgent on the agenda. Leisurely cutting vegetables on a hand-planed wooden cutting board, close friends sitting around a long table placed next to said plum tree, engaging together in relaxed conversation.

Ripe white currants on the bush just before harvest. Ripe white currants are transparent when they're ready to pick.

Slow living is actually very busy. That plum tree has loads of plums to pick. And deal with. And there's more than one fruit tree.

But aren't most people's lives busy? I don't own the ability to fill every hour of the day. However, I feel fortunate my days are intentional and purposeful. Every day is meaningful. Right now, in August, my days are about moving through the garden, picking everything in sight. I'm harvesting blooms for today's table, flowers and herbs to concoct creams and soaps, veggies and fruit to savor now and put away for the many months to come - until everything's ripe all over again.

Organic garden that looks wild and full and almost overgrown. Kiwi vine over cedar trellis. Lots of flowers. Hand laid stone walkway weaves through garden.

I take breaks in the harvest to watch bees fly through flowers and settle on one after the other. I admire individual flowers and I'm awestruck by their beauty. I purposefully brush up against the lavender and thyme and stop to take in their delicious fragrance. I'm aware of everything special surrounding me.

Lavender bush growing in organic garden. Lavender is set into hand laid stone patio. Raised cedar beds in background and mason bee house on cedar post.

August is about jumping on my bike, riding off to gather the last of the season's skin-medicinal wildflowers and weeds.

Purple and green self heal flower and plant growing in the wild in pacific northwest in washington state.

I'm filling and decanting jars of botanically infused oils. I'm harvesting poppy seeds then running up to my studio, two stairs at a time, to throw the seeds into a new batch of soap on the go. I'm gingerly placing dried rose hips onto the surfaces of setting soap bars.

Red and purple poppy growing in garden with fresh seed heads filled with poppy seeds next to flower.

Building bouquets on my front porch, conscious of how I blend the colors, always challenging myself to make each arrangement more beautiful than the last. I'm in the kitchen peeling and chopping apples...and apples...and more apples. Slicing plums. Washing wild blackberries. Preparing full sunflower heads to be roasted later. Grating bag after bag of zucchini, too. And placing them all in the freezer. Cleaning up the garlic to store in the pantry. And even cutting cucumbers - to dry and blend into my next batch of your eye cream.

There'll be moments enough for rest in the winter, when the sun is low and it's cold outdoors. Time to write and reflect and be still. So for now I'll live today to the fullest: sprit-full and time-full! Slow living full to the brim and meaningful.

Enjoy your week. It's summer - in my mind, the most magical time of the year. Wishing you the best of it. Love to you, Chwynyn

bundles of fresh lavender just picked from the garden, on a handmade wooden plank table.


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