Last night as I turned off lights and tucked kids into bed, I caught a whiff of lilacs. A neighbor’s lilac bush was blowing its heady perfume three doors over and two stories up, right into our windows. The evening air had grown chilly and the sky was not quite dark, so I closed the windows and drew the shades and thanked goodness for the millionth time that winter is over and that tomorrow could bring more lilac huffing.
Alyson Morgan‘s new book, Our Kindred Home: Herbal Recipes, Plant Wisdom, and Seasonal Rituals for Rekindling Connection with the Earth, landed on my doorstep a few weeks ago, but it wasn’t until this week, with my own manuscript delivered and Brooklyn in the midst of unfurling her riotous blossoms, that I finally took the time to dive in. Absolutely no surprise to anyone who knows Alyson, the book is a treasure trove: a guidebook, a reference, a helpful companion for exploring the natural world and ourselves. It’s filled with recipes and rituals and, as ever, Alyson’s thoughtful words. I’ve long admired Alyson for her medicinal plant knowledge and herbalism expertise, but most especially because she’s one of the few women who I follow in what might be called the aspirational lifestyle space that openly and frequently addresses climate change and ecological grief. As in all of her writing, Alyson’s book carries the simultaneous sorrow and joy to be found in being alive on this planet.
On my way home from daycare drop-off this morning, I spotted a man tending to my neighbor’s garden and told him I had smelled the lilacs from down the street and had syrup-making ambitions. He clipped me a stem and sent me off with a business card for his handyman services. Ask and ye shall receive, et cetera.
I came home and made Alyson’s lilac syrup. I’ll strain it tomorrow or the next day and stretch these precious lilac days just a little bit longer, stirring the syrup into lemonade and popsicles and gin cocktails over ice.
To all of you, here’s some encouragement to welcome Alyson’s book to your own shelves and maybe also to ask your neighbor for a bunch or two of lilacs. I’m so glad I did. Our Kindred Home is on sale now wherever books are sold. More from Alyson Morgan on her website and Instagram feed.