For the first time in a very, very long time: since the summer of 1995 to be exact, I took more than 10 days off and went traveling abroad. The spark was my daughter Ginger’s 16th birthday. The catalyst was the lessons learned these past few years of how quickly the world can change and my deep yearning to get out in the world again and connect with humanity. A window opened that worked for my business, as my team is so very capable and passionate about Wild Carrot, a brave dog sitter materialized (I have 3 dogs - 2 of which are quite large, a cat, a gerbil, and 12 hens), Ginger was still remote schooling so she was flexible, and one of my best friends bought a beautiful stone cottage in the French countryside, beckoning me to come.
When I first saw the posts on IG about our anniversary sale there was a pang of guilt that I left during such a busy time. I have spent so much time celebrating with head down, hands in the dirt, or boxing orders, or responding to our customers via email or in person in our shop. I have spent so much time unraveling and reflecting this past month and it has been such a gift that only time can give. It has been a stark contrast to be both on vacation and to witness the protests and strikes happening all over France because of the raising of the retirement age by 2 years. I applaud them for speaking out. Days after blazing past people on sidewalks that were walking arm in arm “too slowly” we began to wonder not why they all walked too slow but why the heck we were walking so fast? Just where were we speeding off to? More gelato or another coffee perhaps? Even on vacation it is hard for me to get to that state of relaxation. It is hard to quiet the mind and think of something other than work and what new product is next.
On a beach chair on the French Riviera we toasted the abundance and beauty that Wild Carrot has brought to our beings. We toasted our customers and those that believe in us. We toasted to this outlet of creativity and most of all to the plants that share their healing abundance with us.
Coming here from the great white north and not even seeing the return of leaves yet, the verdant hillsides have been astonishing. It has been a delight to see the plants that I consider family and to wonder about those I have read about in books or never seen before. There were huge black carpenter bees that nest in wood but spent their lives in the purple sage blooms. I saw my first Asian hornet and it scared the daylights out of me. We watched the boars at sunset as they came out of the shade of the Beech forests, all their babies in a long row, arranged by size. We connected with old friends and made new ones over beautiful handmade cheeses and wondered about the politics of the world that claim we are so divided, yet here we were, looking for all the places that our human hearts touched.
Making skin care for almost 3 decades now, and thinking about all the bodies our products have touched, I am humbled by the connection that I still feel to making plant medicine. I am so grateful for the time that I was able to get away and see this life in a more macro view.
What a beautiful life it is.
Ma vie en rose,