Writing my way through the A-to-Z blogging challenge, I’ve tasked myself with throwing open the cabinet of curiosities and wondrous things I call my brain and leading you on a tour of what actually resides in there – all through the lens of unusual, obscure, or simply charming-to-me words.
Landing today on the B shelf of my brain cabinet, let’s explore. B is for…
balsamical – (adj) soothing, restorative, balmy
Balsam is one of those delicious words that means many things. We tend to think of it as a particular plant or it’s associated scent – the balsam fir. But actually a number of plants are called balsam, including the family of the common garden flowers impatiens. Sweet-smelling oil or resin derived from various plants is known as balsam. We might also think about balsamic vinegar, or even the balsamic phase of the moon during its lunar cycle.
Yet underneath all these things lies the concept of restorative, soothing, balmy.
Historically, balsam plant materials have been used to sooth burns and wounds, and used as a pain-reliever. Balsamic vinegar, which doesn’t actually contain any balsam plant material, was actually taken nearly a thousand years ago as a tonic. The balsamic moon is nearing the ending phase of the moon’s lunation – when it is the merest of crescents heading into the dark. It’s considered a resting/sleeping time, at the end of a cycle when you are tired and need careful restoring in order to be refreshed for the next new beginnings.
I confess I’m always somewhat surprised that many people don’t have a strong sense of what is soothing to them. Particularly in these times when stress seems to ratcheting everyone into tight little balls of vibrating angst, it seems more important than ever to have a clear understanding of what can help. And although I think there are some generic balsamical remedies that suit most everyone, I firmly believe we should all be well versed in what assuages our particular needs.
Salt water is always a good fit for me; immersing myself in fragrance; vibrational energy work; and working with honey and beeswax are also right-fits for me.
It’s when we’re most tapped out, most over-extended, most hanging on by a thread that we need the most exquisite self-care. The soothing restorative, the literal and/or figurative balm that calms and unclenches, and then having worked its magic allows us to expand once again.
I often think about what Nietzche said:
“What is happening to me happens to all fruits that grow ripe. It is the honey in my veins that makes my blood thicker, and my soul quieter.”
I like to imagine our days, our lives, are meant to be lived as beautiful fruits ripening, and we need to pay attention to conditions that allow us to thrive. Just as we are each unique, our balsamical curatives are custom. As we are calmed and restored, may we always find exactly what we need to thrive.
What are your balsamic remedies? Do tell – you know I’d love to hear.