Green Medicine for the Vernal Equinox

Studio Nettle Tea

Puddling around in the studio, watercolors inside, pouring rain outside. Green medicine in my glass: an infusion of fresh nettle tea, which glows a jewel-like green a day after steeping the fresh leaves in my teapot, a green tonic for spring cleansing of the body systems, laden with winter sluggishness.

I’m thinking of rainbows as I watch the clouds toss and turn outside my window, knowing that eventually blue sky will appear again and will be filled with rainbows . . . I mix paints and make color samples in my journal, following the progression of one color into the next.

Studio watercolor palette & journal

Plant medicine to drink, and art medicine in my brush, blending shades of green, not sure where this going, but it’s fun to slosh color around on a rainy equinox day, testing some different papers with water media . . . As I drink the last of the nettle tea, I try to match the shade of green in the glass, and remember not to drink the rinse water.

Studio nettle tea & green watercolor

All in all, a glorious way to spend a rainy vernal equinox, balancing between my creative pursuits and nourishing my body for the coming warm months. Blessed be!

p.s. After I posted this, I realized this is not only Ostara, one of the names of the spring equinox, when the days and nights are of equal length, but two other fabulous holidays too: Holi, maybe my favorite Hindu holiday where everybody has a big party and throws brightly colored pigments at each other while dancing in celebration, held the day after the first full moon in spring; and Nowruz, the Persian New Year, another day of celebration which always falls on the vernal equinox. And the full moon was last night, though we couldn’t see it for the rain clouds. All of these holidays fulfill the basic requirement of any pagan holiday, according to my son, who says they are all just excuses to get together and sing out, “Whoo!” Works for me! In honor of the Iranian people, I’m adding one more green photo to this bunch, one of my favorites from the short season of hope in Iran in June of 2009 before the crackdown came on the protestors in the streets of Tehran. This photo copyright Associated Press, taken by Ben Curtis. (Note, 2024: Source of this photo, and lots of other wonderful ones,  was originally The Boston Globe but unfortunately the page is gone now.)

Iran 2009 Protest Heart Hands green ribbons
{ 7 comments… add one }
  • Karen Koshgarian 03/20/2011, 11:36 am

    It’s not easy being green. – Kermit

  • Cari 03/20/2011, 3:45 pm

    Karen, your comment made me think of the Iranian people, who find it especially hard to be “green” so I added a tribute to them at the end of this post, one of my favorite photos to come out of that short hopeful time in 2009.

  • Maryam 03/21/2011, 4:33 pm

    It is a beautiful and soft post about the first day of Spring, playing with color (specifically green), and rain!! I loved the way that you connected all these to Iran’s New Year!
    Be Green………..

  • Maryam 03/23/2011, 3:19 pm

    Cari, can I share this post on my facebook?

  • Cari 03/23/2011, 3:22 pm

    Of course, Maryam! That would please me greatly. Thank you!

  • Melody 08/21/2022, 6:37 pm

    Dear Cari,

    Lovely to read your words here. Your cup of nettles is so verdant! Your reference to Nowruz and Iran touches my heart. Thank you for sharing.


    • Cari Ferraro 08/22/2022, 9:20 am

      I am pleased you came by, Melody. It was a pleasure for me also to read this older entry. I’ll be looking forward to seeing more of your work in the world too.

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