The Wild Honey Buzz: Serenity in '23, November: Nature as Healer & Native American Heritage Month
Updated: Nov 8
I'm still reeling from the awful events of October that are still playing themselves out. I'm sure anyone reading this post is as well. In difficult times, I like to turn to nature as a balm, and trees are one of my favorite topics. November is Native American Heritage Month and one of the trees important to the native peoples of the Pacific Northwest is the Western red cedar. The photo of the red cedar above was taken in Saint Edward State Park in Kenmore, Washington, and the totem pole is located in Port Ludlow, WA and was carved from a Western red cedar that was blown down in a wind storm. It is estimated that the tree was 720 years old! The information board about the uses of cedar by Native Americans is part of a wonderful display in the Whatcom Museum in Bellingham, WA.
Although Washington State is famous for its evergreens, one of my favorite native trees is the big leaf maple. The photos above were taken in Blyth Park in Bothell, WA on the banks of the Sammamish river and in the Olympic National Park. The big leaf blew into our yard from our neighbor's Big Leaf Maple and illustrates perfectly how the trees got their name! They sure keep us busy raking them in the fall!
And then there are these beauties from my very own backyard...a Chinese dogwood and red maple in all of their fall glory with a majestic Deodar cedar towering in the background. The Deodar cedar is a species of cedar native to the Himalayas. My current home is located on the traditional lands of the Snohomish People. I honor with gratitude this sacred space and the rich heritage of the Snohomish people.
So in this month focused on giving thanks, I am grateful for the trees, the guardians, as my friend calls them. Also when Scorpio season winds down, we welcome Sagittarius on November 22. Happy Birthday to all of the archers! Since this sign rules the thighs and legs, it seems like a good serenity practice might be to bundle up and go for nice long walks to enjoy the crisp fall air. Horse back riding is also advised for anyone with access to a horse! The centaur half man/half horse is associated with Sagittarius. Since it is a fire sign, it's a great time for enjoying fires in the fireplace, especially in the Northern Hemisphere when temperatures turn cold.
On November 11, we observe Veteran's Day here in the States. As a daughter of two veterans (Corporal Grace, Women's Army Corps, Korea, and Private Clarence, WWII Pacific Theatre, Purple Heart, Battles of Saipan and Okinawa), my heart breaks that we don't have a stronger and better country to show for all of their sacrifice and service and that of millions like them. I thought the promise of democracy was to expand the rights and freedoms of each generation, not to witness them being taken away as we see happening today. I have watched with stunned outrage as a senator from Alabama has held up promotions of many people in the military due to his misogynistic personal beliefs, actions that have endangered our national security. With democracy under attack, it is more important now than ever to make our voices heard at the ballot box. I am publishing this blog post on the eve of Election Day, November 7, and hoping that everyone will vote, especially those ages 18-34, our most important voting block.
In reading news, I have read a total of 37 books thus far in 2023, but am way behind my daughter who has read 90!!! She often recommends books to me and I asked her recently to name some of her favorite titles. One that she always mentions and that I read following her recommendation is "Born a Crime" by Trevor Noah. It is a memoir of his childhood in South Africa and his career as a comedian. The two of us also got to see him perform when he came to Seattle a few years ago. I highly recommend "Born a Crime."
I continue to work on poems for my new manuscript around the theme of travel and am excited for the launch of my book, "In the Grip of Grace" from Finishing Line Press in 2024.
I am thankful for all the blessings of my life, my family and friends in particular, my good health, and this beautiful planet where we reside. I pray daily for EVERYONE suffering from any kind of grief or trouble. May they be delivered from their distress and may happier and more peaceful times be realized for us all.
Thank you for reading my blog posts this year... 11 down, one to go!
Wishing you as much serenity as possible in these troubled times...stay wild and stay free, seek solace in nature, in the faith of your own understanding, and in each other.
Love and blessings,
Wild Honey Marianne