Behind the Blend: Murray Creek February 08 2018
|Grandma Annie with my cousin Ayla in 2012|
My Grandma Annie was an incredible woman and a huge part of my youth and upbringing. When I was little we lived in central California and most of my formative memories happened out on the spiritual retreat/family homestead called Murray Creek, way out in the rural foothills that divided wine country and the great redwood forest. Gold Rush country (read more about Murray Creek here).
My grandparents lived on a sixty acre spread along with myself, my three siblings, my parents, and whatever cousins/aunts/uncles/friends that happened to be visiting. There were also countless goats, chickens, dogs, cats and one particularly vocal peacock named George. My parents, sibs and self lived in the small two-bedroom log cabin down the hill from my grandparents' yellow house. We spent much of our time playing in the oak-and-cedar forest and small creek full of minnows and water skeeters. Blackberries were abundant and all parts of that region smelled constantly of good minerals, creek mud and redwood bark.
My grandparents were both healers and deeply spiritual people. Grandpa's shamanic work (He was a legit wizard. Ten belly buttons and everything.) was complemented by Grandma's herbalist practices and Jungian Christian counseling. Grandma was fascinated by mandalas in particular, so we did a lot of fun geometric play growing up.
The first time I ever drank tea, I was home sick from school and my grandmother made me a strongly-brewed cup of chamomile with lots of honey from a neighbor's bees. It was so sweet it honestly might have well been just straight honey, so naturally my six-year-old self fell in love. From that first cup of chamomile, Grandma introduced me to peppermint, verbena and lemon balm. It took me a while to have any interest in true tea, but those early herbal infusions became among my favorite treats.
My grandmother was a magical person. It was impossible to feel uncomfortable or unsafe around her and she seemed to know absolutely everything about the natural and spiritual worlds. Every time I create a new blend, it always has some underlying application for physical, mental and/or emotional health. This work is my tribute to Grandma Annie, in addition to bringing me joy every day just due to my love of the work.
|Murray Creek Blend|
Next is peppermint. It's bright, fun, and sharpens the mind. Mint grows everywhere at Murray Creek, and we would frequently snack on it while creekwalking and picking blackberries.
The last note is chamomile, of course. How could it have been anything else?
I frequently prescribe this tea for insomnia, stress and anxiety. People might not necessarily know they're indirectly experiencing the warm hugs and shining smile of one of the best grandmas in the world, but I like to think they can feel it.