The word 'aphrodisiac' comes from the name of the Greek goddess Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty, whose name also meant 'sexual pleasure'. Therefore, an aphrodisiac is something that arouses sexual desire. It could be a substance such as a chemical (drug), but it could also be a sensory stimulant - visual (watching an intimate movie), audio (listening to sultry music), olfactory (a suggestive scent), taste (some foods are said to elicit amorous feelings), and/or touch (in just the right places and with the right intention).
That's what I recently read on the cover of a cosmetics catalog, and I thought, "what a lovely way to describe this time of year" - a time when the daylight is at a premium, the temperatures are less than optimal, and some funny, white stuff that makes it hard to get around sometimes falls from the sky.
I have a different interpretation of this time of year from most people. Sure, it's cold outside, and it gets dark early, but to me that's a great excuse to snuggle under a warm blanket, get a fire going in the fireplace, tear through that novel I've been meaning to get through but just haven't had time, and sip a piping hot cup of tea. Doesn't that sound wonderful? One might even say 'Cozy'.
Full disclosure: I'm a well-established introvert. This means that I love to be home, and I more-often-than-not enjoy my solitude. But I admit that, when the daylight and temperatures are more favorable, I get that bug of 'I SHOULD be out doing something', whether it's running errands, working in the garden, or *gasp* being social. If the weather is good then I feel guilty if I'm holed up in the house, but in the wintertime, it just seems right. And that, quite frankly, brings me great pleasure.
Here in Maryland, I hear all the time "I hate winter". They tell me it's cold, it's dark, and they don't like being stuck at home. And yet, with my herbalist hat on, I see so many depleted people who are running so hard and so fast for so long, that perhaps the best thing they could do for themselves is to slow down, even stop, for a while. So my food for thought in this post is, why don't you consider heeding winter's advice - snuggle up, slow down, grab some tea (ginger is wonderfully warming this time of year!) and enjoy the break while it lasts. You may just find that you're sorry when it's over.
Welcome welcome all, and welcome 2016! The New Year brings my new blog - something I've been meaning to initiate for quite some time. As an introduction to the theme I would like to run throughout, allow me to borrow directly from my FAQ (also a fairly recent addition to my website):
‘Green Haven’ is the name of the 1-acre ‘estate’ that my husband and I live on, the Green Haven logo being a rather accurate characterization of our little Cape Cod home. When I was brainstorming names for my business, I toyed with several variations: ‘Green Haven Herbals’, ‘Green Haven Wellness’, ‘Green Haven etc…’. I settled on the admittedly non-specific ‘Green Haven Living’ because I wanted to suggest a certain philosophy of moving through life, of ‘living’, if you will. At the time I don’t think I fully understood, myself, what the ‘Living’ part meant, but after having practiced herbalism for more than a year and teaching food gardening practices for far longer, it finally hit me. Green Haven Living represents observing the world around us so as to appreciate that which may otherwise seem ‘ordinary’. It’s finding the joy in the everyday. It’s also empowering ourselves for self-care and sustainability – through growing our own food or nurturing ourselves toward health with herbs. It’s taking full advantage of the life that ‘is’, not lamenting what we believe life ‘should be’.
As such, my intention for writing is to help guide us all in taking a moment to notice the little things in life that bring us joy, a sense of well-being, and satisfaction on a daily basis. I also plan to share my knowledge and practical experience to help us all help ourselves. To that end, expect to see posts that showcase my favorite herbs to grow and their powerful healing properties, perhaps a recipe using in-season fruits and vegetables, how-to's on anything from preserving the harvest to making an herbal tincture, or simply an occasional reminder to slow down and take time to breathe.
In summary, for this blog I will let my vision of Green Haven Living (quoted from my homepage) guide me:
"Personal wellness through plants."