Sadly, my real-life success with growing Ur, or Heather as we usually now call it, has been zilch. I just can’t seem to get the damned stuff to winterover. Apparently it thrives in acid soil, so perhaps a nice mulching of pine needles will help it along the next time I get up the gumption to try growing it.
Ur is the warmth and joy of community, and there’s certainly been a lot of that in my life this month. As some of you know, I’ve been tangled up in the process of purchasing one of the units in our co-housing community. My neighbors have been beyond helpful and supportive, and it’s been such a relaxing experience knowing the I’m working with the buyer instead of engaging in the adversarial relationship so common in real estate transactions. Bees, the epitome of community, are also closely associated with heather, and their busy hum has reverberated throughout my inner worlds as I navigate a new place in the neighborhood.
In any case, this month has been full of community work, from putting the common garden to bed, to finishing up the siding on the chicken coop, to spending more time with my groovie Grovies outside of ritual. Heather is the healing power of community, and all the sweetness that comes with being fully engaged in one’s tribe. When Damh the Bard sang “Wild Mountain Thyme” around the campfire at ECG 2013, I was choked with tears–my ex-husband had asked for a divorce months before, yet here was a group of people who still found me worthy of love and companionship. We would indeed “all go together,” and the image of my tribe singing amongst the purple heather would carry me through one of the darkest winters of my life.
Will you go, lassie, will you go?
And we’ll all go together
To pull wild mountain thyme
All around the blooming heather,
Will you go, lassie, go?
–Francis McPeak, “Wild Mountain Thyme”