[For a full edition with images, please click here.] 

June 2018

Volume 2/Number 2

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

The Second Coming [excerpt] - William Butler Yeats


The Center cannot hold...

It's a topsy-turvy world. Endless winter with a summery lapse in February. Frosty June nights. Volcanoes and more volcanoes. Odd solar weather. Something is a-brewing in the aethers of the world, a discordant cocktail, spiked with geopolitical shifts and social upheavals.

I know not whether these changes are for the better or for the worse. What I do know, however, is the importance of cleaving to the center. In inclement weather, one is more likely to sicken. When routines are broken, one is more likely to fall ill. The swings in temperature early this season – 80 degrees by day, 30 degrees by night – are too much a strain on the system. As a result, many people will find themselves more susceptible to allergies and summertime colds this year.

Fortunately, you can protect yourself. Make time to sweat this summer: play in the sun – with proper protection, of course – and feel the height of the year's warmth bake deep into your bones. If we experience any more of these colder nights (or days) bundle up well – the cold penetrates more thoroughly when one has recently sweat. Consider taking elderberry tea or syrup on a daily basis to give yourself an immune boost. Finally,locate your emotional center in your own relationships, rather than in wild news stories and geopolitical upheaval.

Be harmonious, balanced, moderate, and centered – even if the rest of the world seems to have gone mad. From this self-made middle, a quiet calm can grow. With time, it will become a pivot around which others, too, may find respite from the storm.

Hearthstill Kitchen:
Calmwild Brews and The Immunity Potion

Slow, smooth, deep breathing is the best remedy for a wild mind. Some like to aid in the process, however, with judicious use of green tea. It's best to choose higher quality tea because the cheaper stuff has all the caffeine, but none of the calming compounds. Typically, loose leaf teas are of higher quality. My favorite local supplier is MEM Tea – though I may be biased because it's my tea teacher's company. If you'd like to skip the wet bit, green tea extract can also hit the spot. Here's a link to MEM's website:

For children, chamomile tea is very safe and calming. Before visiting the herb store, however, please consider removing food dyes and MSG-containing food additives from the child's diet. Much hyperactivity and inattention in children is actually due to such neurotoxins. Here's a link to a list of MSG-containing food additives:

Finally, for immunity, here's a link to the elderberry syrup recipe, for those who missed it a few months ago:

The Silver Bullet

Even in normal times, balance and moderation is the silver bullet, the magic pill. 

Consider this excerpt from the most important Chinese medical text, The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine:

Ancient peoples knew the Way , including the law of yin  and yang , restraint in eating and drinking, constancy in waking and sleeping, and avoidance of rash action and overwork. Therefore their [minds] and bodies stayed together until the end of their 100 years. Nowadays, people are not like this. They drink alcohol as though it were a nourishing broth. They consider rash action to be measured regularity. They weary themselves in pleasure and squander their true nature. They do not know how to be satisfied. They let their [minds] run wild and unsettle their hearts. They seek after pleasure [in an untimely way]. They rise and turn in without constancy. Therefore, at 50 years they are weak. [Translation mine.]

This is the true golden elixir, friends. Cleave to the center: the power is yours.