REMEDY: CITRUS EVERGREEN SOAK
PHOTO BY AERAN SQUIRES
ESSAY BY ALISON ZNAMIEROWSKI
The world goes quiet this time of year in northern Maine. The vibrant colors are laid to rest beneath a layer of snow, and the birds journey to the south to sing. The gift of long nights gives us the opportunity to encounter ourselves in our darkest depths— to get to know our darkness, to appreciate and acknowledge its importance, to invite and integrate it into our beings. Because these depths are always here, below the flowers; in the bare, naked, gnarled roots, pushing into the musty wet-earth, the decay and rot out of which life flourishes.
Winter is when the lessons we have learned and the experiences we have had over the course of the past year sink into the depths of our core-beings. Through this deep processing and integration, we grow beyond who we were before. And, like the snake, our discomfort and pain is a signal to shed old skins that no longer accommodate our growing selves.
Now is a potent time to bravely and vulnerably acknowledge our projects, relationships, and identities that have reached a natural end in their current iterations, as well as to honor the wounds that we have incurred along the way. It’s the time to let go, heal, and allow for transformation.When we let go, it’s like the flower allowing its petals to fall in autumn. When the petals fall, they can then be composted to create loamy soil in which new seeds of life can thrive come springtime. With time and tenderness, the energy we are releasing in winter will be transformed in support of nourishing new endeavors, interests, ideas, perspectives.
If we remain fluid and fearlessly honest and connected to source, we will cyclically live and die and be reborn a thousand times in this lifetime. We are always transforming, always growing, shedding, and renewing. Trust the darkness and the process.
The letting-go process can be overwhelming and difficult, and it is crucial that we take care of ourselves during this time, as best we can. One of the ways in which I have found solace during the dark seasons is in ritual baths. Taking a bath is a definitive movement and clear expression of love to the self.
Baths can be imbued with even more creative and energetic care through adding different healing elements to the silky waters; crystals, plant allies, Epsom salts, essential oils. This is where intuition guides us in different directions—what you need or desire is unique to you. Listen to your inner-knowing. Check in with yourself. What do you need in this moment? You could draw from your outside environment, cutting forest spruce or pine tips to steep, to connect with the resilient and enduring evergreen energy. You could buy flowers for yourself, and use the petals for a floral infusion, to remind yourself of the blooming process to come. You could fill your tub with quartz from a local shoreline to connect to the land surrounding, to feel its pulse. That’s the fun of this remedy: the possibilities are endless, and there is a lot of room to be creative. The following recipe is one of many possibilities—be creative and enjoy loving yourself, loamy friends.
Citrus Evergreen Infusion Bath Soak
1 cup of Epsom salt
1 tablespoon of coconut oil
Fresh lemons, oranges, and grapefruit
Pine, spruce, and/or fir tips
Rose quartz stone to support emotional wellness
*Use high-quality, sustainably harvested, fresh, and organic products whenever possible.
Collect pine, spruce, or fir tips if you live in an environment where evergreens grow. If you do not, you could substitute with pine essential oil.
Cut citrus into slices of medium thickness.
Draw your bath —mix in Epsom salts and coconut oil to the waters as they flow.
Once full, add citrus slices, evergreen tips, and rose quartz to your bath.
PHOTO BY Chelsea MacLeod
Alison Znamierowski is a wild woman living a vibrant life on the Bold Coast of Maine, where she manages an eclectic tea shop and garden café. She enjoys wandering barefoot, diving into wild waters, and engaging with the magic that lives exquisitely in the everyday experiences of life. You can find her musings and photo journal at @faeandfern on Instagram.