I have, inadvertently, become a butterfly breeder. Outside my kitchen door grows a huge nasturtium where, a little less than a week ago, I saw some caterpillars and was delighted, I love butterflies 🙂 I invited more; “Welcome to breed here, chez moi!” They were quick to take me up on my offer and the next day the nasturtium was absolutely full of caterpillars. First they were just tiny babies and I have watched them eat and grow, it gives me great pleasure to watch nature do her thing. There is more nasturtium in the garden, but they live only on this one which is in the shade. Interestingly enough, there are these long-legged spiders that suddenly popped up as well…I do believe they feed on the poo from the caterpillars 🙂
Yesterday the first one migrated to the place for chrysalis, the time when they enter the pupa-stage. It climbed the outer wall of the house and in under the roof. Only that one. Today others follow and my facade is literally moving upwards, I have to be very careful not to step on any of them. They are amazing! I think they will become white butterflies and turn my beautiful garden into paradise. I have chosen not to check them out on internet or in literature, because I want to be surprised and learn by watching. But I did find this: The earliest known butterfly fossils date to the mid Eocene epoch, between 40–50 million years ago. (wikipedia)
It takes time to learn from nature. You need to slow down very much to see and understand what is right before your eyes. I am awed by the beauty and inspiration which is given me just by being in my garden and maybe this is where I acquire my greatest knowledge.
Posted in Animals, Life, Musings
Tagged awe, butterflies, caterpillars, chrysalis, inspiration, knowledge, learning from nature, migration, patience, pleasure
Ever since I can remember I have perceived my world largely through the sense of smell. I smell everything! As a little child I could find my way home, eyes closed, just by smelling. My siblings teased me and said I was a dog. Sometimes I thought that if I would go blind, I could probably make it in the world anyway, just by smelling. I lived my first 7 years in Japan, then moved to Sweden. These countries smell very different, and the first months in Sweden I was busy sorting the scents… Over time and travels I have found that every country has its own scent, even cities. The metro in Paris has a smell like no other metro in the world, though the London underground has a touch of it. (This memory is from a trip to Paris when I was 11).
When I was 9 yrs old I was sent on holidays to friends of the family who lived in a huge mansion by the sea. Behind the mansion there was this beautiful rose-garden where I spent most of my time reading. One day I collected as much roses as I could carry and brought them to my room where there was a wash-stand. There I immersed the rose-petals in warm water to make rose-water, nobody had ever told me how to do this, I just wanted to keep the scent. I knew then, that I would one day work with scents and plants. (I forgot all about that “wish” for almost 20 yrs and when it resurfaced – while smelling an essential oil – I found my present career.)
At 18, I visited with friends in New York. They took me to China Town where I was hit by such an enormous wave of memories and emotions from my (by now half-forgotten) early childhood in Japan. I was in pieces, seldom have I experienced anything so strong.
One day when I went shopping with my little son, aged 8, we went to the cash-machine to get money. While I am putting away the money, my son asks me: “Mami, first you smelled your card before you put it in the machine, and then you smelled it when it came out. What do you think the machine did to your card?” I don’t notice that I smell things, I just do it. There is no such thing as a bad smell, it’s all information. A “bad smell” usually means something is rotten, ill or poisonous – very important information. The oil of hops (humulus lupulus) is the oddest-smelling essential oil I have ever come across, its scent is on one hand beautifully floral and sweet and behind that scent it smells like natural gas. Black pepper (piper nigrum) smells like peppercorns, but behind that there is this ethereal floral scent. Our senses give us the emotional experience of living, but I think that scent is the most subtle of them all. So start paying attention to what you smell and feel – it will take you on a most astonishing journey…Enjoy!
Posted in Aromatherapy, Scents
Tagged Aromatherapy, black pepper, hops, information, memories, pleasure, Scents, smell, subtle, Uncategorized