The culture at large may celebrate New Year’s Eve as the biggest annual moment of transition and change, but for students, teachers and families of students and teachers, this time of year is the meat and potatoes of change.
With three teachers and a student in our family, this is certainly our biggest week of transition. During the summer months, my husband Jim leaves behind his sixth grade classroom to take up a vast conglomerations of activities all under the umbrella of “farm projects”. Two of our adult children, Ben and Emily are also teachers who dedicate their vacations to all things Green Hope Farm.
As of yesterday, Jim, Ben and Emily are back in the classroom. Emily has a new job as a special education teacher in Boston. Ben has returned to his life running a dormitory of fifty five teenage boys while teaching History and English. Jim is back to school with a new assignment to head up TWO sixth grade classrooms. I am not sure how this will work. Neither is he.
William is also about to depart. After packing a zillion of your Flower Essence orders, William will shortly return to the more leisurely pace of life as a college student.
My stained copy of our Green Hope Farm cookbook, ‘The Things We Cook’, has been put to use pretty much hourly the last few months. People are in and out of the kitchen round the clock snacking, cooking and settling down to epic feasts. Now in the flash, the kitchen has gone from being the hub of endless gatherings to a quiet place.
I think I can hear the heaping pile of produce on the kitchen table decomposing.
So what Flower Essences did I put in the long line up of custom mixes I made for all the departing teachers and students (and their fellow teachers and student friends who also wanted custom Flower Essence mixes)?
To begin the mixes, I put New Beginnings, Anxiety, Flow Free, Golden Armor, and Grief & Loss. I lean heavily on the Animal Wellness collection for mixes. They cover a lot of ground. New Beginnings and Anxiety are perhaps self explanatory. I added the Golden Armor because it brings some wonderful data about buffering for people going from a lot of time outdoors to more congested and machine driven environments. Flow Free is another one I reach for no matter what. Among other things, it helps us all go with the flow, and that is so much the heart of navigating change and transitions. Maybe the Grief & Loss is a stretch, but I love it. And frankly, transitions are usually a bit sad as well as exciting.
Here are a few of the other Flower Essences that made their way into the mixes-
Alex Mackenzie Rose– At the heart of it, this is a Flower Essence to help us have the courage to do what we need to do. For teachers this means being in charge of a classroom. This requires gumption, and this Rose helps us have it.
Borage-This Essence is a gem of uplifting support. It helps us embrace change with enthusiasm, confidence and joy and it does so in such a personal way.
Pink Yarrow from the Cliffs of Moher– This supports us to express ourselves even when we feel vulnerable. All transitions take us into the territory of feeling vulnerable, but teachers have to stay there in front of the crowd. Each day they stand before their students sharing themselves in a most public way. This Irish Essence helps them feel rock solid support as they do so.
Grounding– This is such an important mix for times of change. It went in all the mixes. Change requires we process so much new information, and this can leave us in our heads and not in our bodies. Grounding helps with that. I also like that the Tree Flower Essences in Grounding offer support for issues like stamina and flexibility. Shifting gears requires these qualities from all of us.
As I frequently mention, I learn a lot about Flower Essences from your insights. One of the students requesting a mix for her first week at a new college, asked that I include Common Knapweed. This is another lovely Irish Flower Essence. It helps us release that niggling feeling of anxiety that we have left something essential undone or simply are not “enough.” These are feelings that students and teachers often feel, so her request felt so appropriate and illuminated this Essence for me in a new way.
And what am I sipping in my own Flower Essence water even as I type? Probably all of the above and more.
When I was in second grade I was asked to think of a song title and illustrate it for art class. I chose the song title, “I was Lonely in my Saddle when my Horse died.” It was an odd but funny choice- still, I sometimes feel just that way when the crowds depart and I am at my empty kitchen table looking at all the moldering produce.
So if your census is down like mine is, don’t forget to take care of yourself with Flower Essences too!