(originally published in Pickens Progress on 3/3/2016)
by Local Herbalist Crystal Merrell
I find making New Year’s Resolutions on December 31st challenging. First of all, I will confess I don’t make my best decisions close to midnight any given night of the year, not just New Year’s Eve. And after the holiday hustle-n-bustle plus the kids in the final days of a 2 week school break, I tend to be seeking a quiet and calm moment - not to start a new ‘self-improvement’ project complete with goals and 10-step plans.
Yet, there is great value in taking stock in your life and pondering on ways to direct things in a way you desire. Otherwise, each day rolls into the next and you end up wondering how you got (or didn’t get) to this place.
Nature makes new year’s resolutions too. In the Fall, she takes stock of what was. In Winter, she rests and dreams of possibilities. In Summer, she celebrates life. It is in Spring, right at the start of the season, that she makes her resolutions. The promises of the plants and seeds breaking through the dirt are full of hope, plans, and goals of a fruitful year ahead.
Timing your own personal goals in health and life with the rhythm of the natural world is quite logical. Our human bodies are responsive and smart about utilizing the resources available for our needs throughout the year.
Red bud tree blossoms are not only a beautiful sign of the season, but also a great vitamin C source, with more mg vit C than an orange by weight. Dandelions - yes, those ‘weeds’ in your front yard - are amazing springtime nutrition and of benefit as a traditional and scientifically proven herbal therapy (make sure you are getting dandelion greens, flowers, or roots from land that has not been sprayed or poisoned for 3 or more years). Chickweed, plantain (not the banana like food), cleavers, violets - all beneficial free food growing around you. Even poke salat and ramps are spring time cleansing plants that many North Georgians recall having eaten for health.
Exercise plans are easier to start in the Spring as well with longer daylight, warmer temperatures, and a clockwork yearly nudge to get outside to see the wonder returning. And especially in North Georgia, Spring means a return to the ball field for many families. A perfect opportunity to walk a few laps at Roper’s Park or Jasper City Park.
Spring cleaning is famous for a reason. Fresh new starts this time of year are comforting. We all understand that. So, try using Spring to be your NEW new resolution time of the year.
Learn more about partnering with the plants of Spring in my March 8, 2016 free mini-class ‘New Beginnings: Herbs of Spring’ from 1:30PM-2:00PM at the Natural Market Place, North Main Street, Jasper.
- Crystal Merrell is a Pickens County native with a passion for helping her community. She is a clinical herbalist helping people through holistic consultations and community education. Visit www.crystaldawnherbs.com to learn more.
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Crystal Merrell is an herbalist, mother, and locavore.