In the Catskill Mountains near where I live, there’s a little brook that runs off a spring where there’s watercress growing. If you collect that water and watch the sand settle on the bottom, you have black dirt and you have sand. Even in the winter under the snow you can find the little rivulets flowing from the spring. That little brook will support the growth of watercress all year round—even when it’s freezing—because the water is running. It blows my mind that you can go trudging through the snow and get to that area where you see the snow is melted and you’ve got green watercress growing. It’s one of those most amazing little nature things.
And nettle also grows in extraordinary habitats. It grows where there’s a lot of electrical activity. In certain flatlands during the summer storms, you can see lightening come crackling down and hit the black dirt, and you’ll see puffs of smoke and little zephyrs, little tornadoes, flying up. It’s so powerful.
Hearing the thunder and lightning at the beginning of summer is like hearing geese migrating in the spring. It’s the most exhilarating thing because you’re thinking, “Spring is here! We made it through another winter!”
The other day, I was out in my chicken coop working on their yard, and I heard geese go by overhead, migrating south. When you hear them in the fall, there’s something sad about that sound because you know we’re going into winter. The light is changing; things are going to get a little more difficult. It’s the same with the thunder at the end of summer – when you hear the thunder, that last thunder crack of that last storm, it’s like the final, soulful scream of the season. The first one is like a young man just sitting there, but the last one is his last scream that says, “This is the last of my season.”
The light in autumn is a perfect reminder for moving into the winter season. It’s quiet. You have a sense of solitude. Snows are coming that will blanket everything. Everyone will become quiet. The seeds will be under the ground ready for the next season. There is a Navajo prayer about the snow that comes: a prayer of thanks for covering up the old pathways, so that we have the opportunity to make new pathways.
~Barbara Nelligan, Reflexologist