I have been drawn repeatedly into the garden today. Early this morning, I strolled through before heading out for the office and then to Mt. Vernon for a closing. I spied a praying mantis immediately, who turned his head to peer back at me.
When I finished work late this afternoon, I returned to sit in the garden, surrounded by beauty and mild sunshine. I kicked off my shoes and settled back into a chair, watching bees and butterflies flitting from flower to flower. Life. Life filled my own little paradise, along with peace.
After a quick summertime dinner, I returned to the herb garden to snip sprigs of fresh lemon balm and mint. The unusually cool temps we are experiencing remind me that fall is approaching. I wanted a cup of hot herbal tea.
I used my tea mug with the little mesh strainer to prepare the tea. Filling the mug with steaming water, I let the lemon balm and mint leaves steep, covered, for about 10 minutes. A delicate lemony aroma filled the air and I looked forward to sipping the herbal tea out by a cozy little fire in the fire pit.
While I was waiting, I googled the health benefits of lemon balm tea. This member of the mint family is great for treating disorders of the digestive system and cleansing the liver. It has antioxidant properties as well. Lemon balm is most recognized for its calming effect, relieving stress and lowering anxiety. Although I wasn’t experiencing stress or anxiety, the light green tea was flavorful and soothing, and I felt very relaxed after drinkng a cup.
I lingered in the garden long after the sun set, sipping my lemon balm mint tea, watching the little crackling fire, listening to the droning song of the cicadas. The cool air carried the scent of herbs as they stirred just beyond the flickering firelight. What bliss. It feels like summer is slipping away, the shorter days signaling the trees to begin changing the colors of their leaves. It won’t be long until this garden shifts in response, but there is beauty present at every stage, during every season. I’ll enjoy every moment.