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Triggered by the colorful spectacle of these poisonous beauties

I tell myself I never learn, partly on purpose to keep surprises coming and prevent too much weighing down on me, but on these freezing darkening grey damp days it is entirely understandable to feel deprived of color and assume nothing interesting is out there anymore, just because we aren’t.

Our ancient woodlands and pastures are as inviting as ever for sure, but the wetness and cold turn into common denominators for a repellence not easily overcome, especially not early in the morning, when life only slowly gets going because of the cooling down of the previous night and the gnawing regret for leaving a warm bed, hindering a speedier pace. The list of chores before morning coffee has been extending itself considerably lately to reach acceptable levels of comfort and although I’m lucky enough for Ivory to cover Mec’s morning walk, I still won’t be in the garden till much later, If I can’t avoid it at all, that is.

This morning it became perspicuous how hoity-toity my dawdling is, when a joyous discovery immediately obscured the reason I was outside in the first place, holding myself accountable for not noticing these pink and orange berries before, upholding our signature color even now and that’s not the only box they tick if you are, like me, fond of tangles.

The plants botanical name Euonymus, comes from the Greek ‘eu’, meaning ‘good’ and ‘onoma’, meaning ‘name’, together referring ‘lucky’. However, in some areas it was also thought that if the plant flowered early, an outbreak of the plague was on the way. The English name for it, was given by William Turner in his ‘A new herball’ in 1558, explaining: ‘The Duche men call it in Netherlande, spilboome, that is, spindel tree, because they use to make spindels of it in that countrey.’ Funny enough, in Holland its name is Cardinal’s Hat, because of the distinct shape of the berries.

While triggered by the colorful spectacle of these poisonous beauties, whispered fragments came to me of apparent magical properties used effectively in cleansing rituals to heal old emotional wounds and for spinning and weaving spells that bring people together. If you don’t mind I read up on that by the fire though.

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