Monday, March 2, 2009

A Spring Kitchen

A SPRING KITCHEN by Cait Johnson

Spring kitchens are airy, fresh places where we feel stimulated,
energized, alive with possibilities. The first step in making our
kitchens places of inspiration is old fashioned spring-cleaning.
Even those of us who loathe housecleaning as a tiresome, thankless,
repetitious, and endlessly boring chore can learn to enjoy the
process of marking our territory with magick.

By the end of winter, the world looks a bit scruffy and neglected.
Dead leaves and fallen branches litter the ground, along with
remnants of snow pocked with grime. Just as a gardener needs to
clear away the winter debris to make room for spring growth and
flowering, so it can be a good thing to clear away debris from our
kitchens. Make space in your life for fresh, good things to grow.
Take some time in early spring to decide on your kitchen essentials:
What is truly necessary for you? What could you do without? Give
away anything that doesn't serve you. When your kitchen is clean and
uncluttered, your spirit can breathe.

Once your kitchen is as clean as you feel like making it, you may
want to celebrate the stirring of new life with a few essential
springtime decorations. Flowering bulbs and bare tree branches can
both be placed in water and allowed to bloom. Teardrops of glass
hung in the window catch the light like melting icicles. Dark,
earthy, winter colours give way to the lighter, more airy ones of
spring--a pastel rag rug for the floor or a woven mat for the table
may refresh your spirit. Look for shades of mouth-watering yellow-
green, violet, rose, pale blue, silvery dove-gray, and a tender
yellow the colour of the emerging sun. These are the colours that
will help you to envision, to plan, to be inspired.

Spring is associated with air, and with thoughts, ideas, and words.
You could invoke the power of words in your kitchen by writing a few
important ones here and there. Use large letters if you want them to
be seen (in a border around the ceiling, perhaps), or hide tiny ones
in secret places. Get yourself some magnetic poetry for the fridge.
What are the words that you need in your life? Is there a special
quote that you could frame or incorporate into your kitchen?

By the Spring Equinox, the birds are returning and the world is
filled with wings, nests, and the heart-lifting sound of their
singing. One traditional and pleasant way to commemorate the birds'
return is to include a nest or two in your kitchen. You could buy
one (Spanish moss, twig, or wicker nests look very realistic), or you
could find a real one (as long as it isn't being lived in anymore),
or create your own.

Fill your nests with eggs. Traditionally, eggs have held a place of
special veneration as objects of power and magick. Egg-decorating is
an ancient way to honour this season. And you may want to tuck in a
feather or two, as well--these are especially meaningful if you've
found them yourself.

There are egg-shaped soaps available now that would be fun in a
nestlike soap dish on the sink (look for nice all-natural herbal egg-
soaps in specialty stores or gift catalogues). Or, to make your own,
try grating leftover bits of soap into a bowl, mix with a little
water, and shape small palmfuls into eggs by hand. If you throw in a
few leftover coffee grounds, your soap will have a wild-bird-egg's
speckled look and will also be a good deodorizer for oniony hands.
Whenever you wash with a bar of egg-soap, let the symbol remind you
of the incredible power to create that lies in your hands--and in
your heart, your spirit, your mind.

The first tender vegetables of the spring garden make a welcome
appearance now. The tiny carrots, cheery radishes, asparagus spears,
and the earliest new peas to sprout up in gardens may be found on
everything from teapots to vases to dinnerware to teatowels, which
let you invite their hopeful message inside as well. Or you could
paint or stencil that veggie of your choice somewhere special: inside
a cupboard door to cheer you whenever you open it, for instance.

By late spring, the world is strewn with flowers. Make a place on
your table for a vase spilling over with blooms, or find an O'Keeffe
print to brighten your wall. The sensual beauty of flowers has age-
old associations with love, sex, and pleasure, and late spring is
certainly the time for those. To invite the power of loving
sensuality into your kitchen, choose fabrics and accents in shades of
rose to remind you of your own sacred petals. Consider making a rose-
patterned pillow for your power place; then, every time you sit
there, you will be embowered by these rich symbols of the Goddess.



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