Here’s to Our Mothers

Well, we all have one.  Sometimes more.  Our Mothers.  How are you doing with yours?  This is just a musing, unbidden.   A holiday musing of loss and understanding, completion and transformation.

On my mind these days, holidays and the Mothers.  As a midwife, there is a special moment in which mothers become… although that ‘moment’ is often days, weeks, months long, and for sure, it’s not often that exact moment that so many expect.  When do mothers ‘unbecome’ – do they ever?

My mother passed on this season two years ago.  And this season, a dear friend’s mom just did the same.  Memorial services 2 years apart, same day.  In both cases, these fine ladies were given home funerals by their daughters.  My sister & I for Sharon, our friend for her Mom, Nancy.  This ancient way of caring for our dead, of honoring our mothers, became true expressions of our loss and grief and honor and respect.   Many who attended these services shared how healing they were to their own losses;  the stories of unmet needs at the time of significant deaths came pouring out.   So much like birth, where whole authentic experiences bring growth and healing not only to those present, but to so many who touch in.  Like birth, so many stories of unmet needs pouring out.

Perhaps we may choose, in this candlelit time of winter solstice, of holiday reflections, of the blessings & trials of family times, to welcome in authentic moments of true expression.  Perhaps first we dare to invite these moments with the relatives with the bright eyes and genuine questions.  Later, perhaps we explore authentic connections with the more challenging people in our lives.  Perhaps consider how we are going to care for those we love when they pass.  How will YOU be cared for?  By whom?  Efficient strangers?  People who will weep as they wash your hands, blessing and thanking them?  Authentic moments are indeed strong ones – richer, deeper, perhaps intense too.   Aren’t these the moments that we remember when we pause in ceremonial times?  When we pause to breathe deeply in remembrance over the candles of our chosen holiday?   There is a magnet on my refrigerator, “We don’t remember days….we remember moments.”   What moment are you remembering now?  We have a choice about what moments we create this today, this week, this December.

Here’s to our Mothers. To our Moments.  No, I do not think they ever “unbecome,”  not in our lives nor in theirs.  I miss my Mother so terribly, as so many do, even as I cheer her release and transformation.   And even as I welcome space from the tough work of that relationship.  Let us all hug a mother in this candlelit season – and if you know mothers, most of them will hug you just for being someone else’s child!  As the brave heroine of movie, “The Other Side of the Mountain,” once said, “I’m glad to have known someone that it is so damn hard to say good-bye to.”


Elderberry Syrup Anyone?

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a little delicious magic potion in your cupboard when the sniffles sneak in?

Elderberry is your friend!   Look around your neighborhood, and you are likely to see these luscious dark berries hanging ripe and heavy, waiting for their chance to do their healing work.

Loaded with Vitamin C &  Vitamin E (great anti-oxidants), as well as Vitamin B, amino acids and so much more, Elderberry is a wonderful immune booster of the best kind.   Approved in Germany to medicinally combat colds and flues, it lowers LDL cholesterol, improves eyesight, and helps maintain good heart health.  However, elderberry’s primary value is its ability to combat bacterial and viral infections by providing aid to the immune system.  It secretes an enzyme that neutralizes a virus’s ability to corkscrew into your cells to insert it’s DNA strand!   Wow – nature’s anti-viral!   Do check out the greater details about elderberry through links such as the one above.  At Indigo Forest we have both dried organic berries that can be used to make your own syrup or added to tea, and also encapsulated blends for immune support by Nature’s Sunshine.

Or – if your neighbor has some fruity gifts, as mine did, it could be as easy as making a syrup:

Gently pick the fruit at the base of the stem where the big bunch comes together.  My kids and I laid them stem up on a plate until we were ready.  Gently hold them upside down and pull the berries off in clumps, avoiding stems as much as possible without getting too worried about it (bitter.)  Rinse if you really need to, hopefully not.  Put in non-reactive (and non-staining) pan like stainless, with a bit of water (more better than risking burning) and lid.  Low simmer while you are busy doing everything else in your life.   After they’re well cooked down (an hour?   I turned it off, went to bed, ignored it the next day, and continued the next morning!),  strain through your finest sieve.   While wearing your oldest clothes – this stuff STAINS, possible splatters.    Smoosh gently with a spoon until no more juicy drips release themselves.   Toss the mush with gratefulness into the compost or under a bush in your yard.  Pour still warm into a friendly jar, and then pour an equal amount of raw honey in as well.  It melts nicely without losing raw benefits as you stir it together.   Storing mine in fridge to avoid molds if we’re lucky enough to have it last through the winter.   It was well-received by the middle school testers last night, barely diluted in a tiny shot glass, with their probiotics and other lovely remedies in it’s friendly sweetness.   They woke without a sore throat complaint for the first time in a week.   Thank you elderberry!

Remember – THIS IS NOT MEDICAL ADVICE!  This is sharing an experience, please research in more detail for further medical qualities and full information.



Welcome to Indigo Forest

Indigo Forest nurtures your health & parenting with:

  • Great hard-to-find products
  • Practical, inspiring classes
  • Professional consultations

We see our work as a three-legged stool; parents need all the support they can get, and all the legs of that stool need to be strong to provide you a truly sturdy base, that way you can do your very best job at the toughest, most relentless, wondrous and important work in the world – raising happy, healthy kids.  So we don’t just sell hot products or offer the usual classes – we really want to share our love of health and learning, and help you to get the hard-to-find information that you need to make thoughtful health decisions, or to give you new coping tools  & a good laugh during the long, dreary winter days of parenting (yes we love Michigan, but let’s get real).   Community matters, and parenting is hard enough without being lonely too.  Come visit us.