The Summer Day

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper? This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
 how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
—Mary Olive

 

Back to Basics
 
I almost didn’t plant the garden at Open Door today when I realized I didn’t have a gloves or a spade. But then I heard my pragmatic, Vermonter father’s voice in my head asking, “What, are you afraid of? Getting dirty?”. I quickly came to my senses and realized the ridiculous nature my previous line of thought. I don’t know when I disconnected from that childhood love of playing in the dirt we all have but, thankfully, its back.
 
My initial aversion to the messy task quickly dissipated as my hands remembered how absolutely delightful it is to play in the dirt. I reconnected with how rewarding it is to gently help the small, delicate plants out of their pots, giving their roots a quick little massage before escorting them to their new home. And while I’ll admit a bit of grumbling about the cigarette butts I had to evict from the bed even that felt kind of good. Like I was doing my tiny, tiny part to help with the beatification of the parking lot behind Open Door.
 
Working in the dirt this afternoon felt a bit like a coming home. Like perhaps the ancestral parts of my brain were lighting up at the familiar actions of being in such close contact with nature. This season in general feels very much like a return. A getting back to how life is supposed to be. Shedding clothes, opening windows and, for those of us lucky ones, letting go of at least a few obligations.  With the long summer days it feels as though there is a little more time and with that time opportunity to take a breath and enjoy this beautiful corner of the world we live in.
 
I think that at Open Door our mission is in part to help people get back to the simple and beautiful basics of life. Eating real food, moving the body everyday, finding support in community, connecting with the rhythms of the seasons and enjoying this precious life we have been given. As Kate put it recently, at Open Door we are fairly “low-tech” but that feels right to us. We believe in the healing power of deep breathing, quietness and reflection. We hope that this summer you too are able to slow down, get outside, enjoy naps in hammocks, picnics under the sun, swim breaks, dirty feet, time to pause in nature and laughter and play with loved ones.
 
Happy summer, my friends!

Miriah Wall, MS, CMHC
 

 
Tastes of the Season June in the Upper Valley is the time to enjoy the outdoors and welcome fresh, local produce after a winter of last fall's root cellar and frozen harvests. Now that Memorial Day weekend and chance of a frost is behind us, we can focus on planting our gardens. If you find that you do not have the time and space for your own vegetable garden, you are in luck- the Upper Valley has many wonderful farm CSA's to choose from. Even if you are unable to commit to a CSA, most of the Coops in our area have a local produce section. Buying local  not only benefits our community, but benefits your health. Eating fruits and vegetables that were just picked a few hours earlier is an excellent way to meet your vitamin needs. Most vitamins that provide anti-oxidant support are water soluble which means that the longer produce sits around, the less fresh it is and the fewer vitamins it retains. If you decide to plant your own garden, remember to add herbs to your garden bed or box. Fresh herbs, such as parsley, cilantro, basil, mint and oregano are loaded with vitamins and minerals. Adding a small handful of fresh herbs every day to your green shake or salad can provide you with enough vitamin C and phytonutrients to boost your immune system and your energy - plus it tastes great!   Here is a recipe for my favorite energizing green shake: 1 cup coconut water 1 cup packed kale 1/2 cup packed chard 1/2 cup packed, fresh parsley 1/2 banana 1/2 cup chopped, fresh pineapple or blueberries 1 inch sliced fresh ginger 1 inch sliced fresh turmeric Add all the ingredients to a blender in that order - modify quantity of liquid to desired consistency and ENJOY! - Holly Westling, RN,MS,CNS

Tastes of the Season
June in the Upper Valley is the time to enjoy the outdoors and welcome fresh, local produce after a winter of last fall's root cellar and frozen harvests. Now that Memorial Day weekend and chance of a frost is behind us, we can focus on planting our gardens. If you find that you do not have the time and space for your own vegetable garden, you are in luck- the Upper Valley has many wonderful farm CSA's to choose from. Even if you are unable to commit to a CSA, most of the Coops in our area have a local produce section. Buying local  not only benefits our community, but benefits your health. Eating fruits and vegetables that were just picked a few hours earlier is an excellent way to meet your vitamin needs. Most vitamins that provide anti-oxidant support are water soluble which means that the longer produce sits around, the less fresh it is and the fewer vitamins it retains. If you decide to plant your own garden, remember to add herbs to your garden bed or box. Fresh herbs, such as parsley, cilantro, basil, mint and oregano are loaded with vitamins and minerals. Adding a small handful of fresh herbs every day to your green shake or salad can provide you with enough vitamin C and phytonutrients to boost your immune system and your energy - plus it tastes great!  

Here is a recipe for my favorite energizing green shake:
1 cup coconut water
1 cup packed kale
1/2 cup packed chard
1/2 cup packed, fresh parsley
1/2 banana
1/2 cup chopped, fresh pineapple or blueberries
1 inch sliced fresh ginger
1 inch sliced fresh turmeric

Add all the ingredients to a blender in that order - modify quantity of liquid to desired consistency and ENJOY!

- Holly Westling, RN,MS,CNS

 

Expansion of Acupuncture and Chinese Martial Arts Program at Open Door

In June we are delighted to welcome two new practitioners to Open Door who will diversify the traditional medical arts program at Open Door, offering group acupuncture, more individual treatment times, and baguazhang.
 
Stefan Grace, L.Ac. recently moved back to Vermont from Portland, Oregon. Stefan is a board-certified acupuncturist and herbalist with two decades of training in Chinese martial arts and tuina (Chinese medical massage).
 
As well as individual acupuncture and manual therapy treatments, Stefan will be teaching baguazhang on Tuesdays from noon-1:15pm. Bagua, along with taiji and xingyi, is a pillar of martial arts practice. It emphasizes non-linear meditative movement that builds strength, flexibility, and resiliency of mind and body. For an illustrative video on bagua, click here. Join for a series of classes or drop-in as schedule allows.

For more information about Stefan, to schedule a session, or sign up for baguazhang please email us at opendoorwrj@gmail.com.
__________
 
Mason Stabler, L.Ac. also recently moved to the Upper Valley after a 4-month stint in Nepal where he ran a rural health clinic treating 20-40 patients each day. Drawing on his experience in Nepal, and from his experience treating patients in Chicago community clinics, Mason will direct Open Door’s group acupuncture clinic. A board-certified acupuncturist and herbalist, Mason will soon receive his Doctorate in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.
 
Midday on Thursday, patients will be able to receive acupuncture at Open Door in the comfort of zero-gravity chairs for just $30. This style of acupuncture can address a wide variety of health concerns, and is particularly suited for chronic pain conditions where more frequent treatment confers enduring relief. We hope this clinic will make the healing power of acupuncture accessible to a wider socioeconomic demographic in the Upper Valley.

For more information or to schedule a group acupuncture session please email: opendoorwrj@gmail.com