Friday, March 25, 2011


Our work is meant to be a green work, a greening work, a creative work
—Hildegard von Bingen, 12th century.

“I am the breeze that nurtures all things green. I encourage blossoms to flourish with ripening fruits. I am the rain coming from the dew that causes the grasses to laugh with the joy of life.”
—Hildegard von Bingen

In Hildegard’s visions she imagines the whole cosmos laughing with joy and with a mystical, “greening power,” which she called, ‘Viriditas’. She made up a word to express her belief in renewal: whether in nature, or in life, or spirit.

Once again, we are reminded that Mother Nature does not shy away from color. In a time of aesthetic minimalism, we must still remember that splashes of color are intended to invigorate us and remind us of all the vibrancy that inhabits the natural world. Come rain. Come shine. Don’t shy from creativity.

Don’t shy from renewal. It’s time to dig into the dirt and plant our seeds. If only to remind ourselves that come what may, life returns again and again.

Even in the midst of anxiety, there is peace to be found in the beauty that persists in Nature.

At the Barn Swallow, we feel it every day.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Oh, the egg

Well, it is perfect, isn't it: an object symbolizing the possibility of both being and becoming simultaneously. A protected little universe, needing nothing more than what is contained within, yet alive with a promise for transformation. The end of winter makes us all feel like eggs. With hardened shells protecting us from the cold and the dark, we can't help but feel like we've been incubating our imaginations for months now. It will feel good to crack open and peel away the layers. We are ready for change and more than ready to inspire you with our dreams for spring. In fact, we have been transforming the store over the course of the last few weeks.  It is really coming to life.

We do have fresh eggs, by the way. Suzie and Michael Culp of Culp Farm are featuring their free range, organic eggs at the Barn Swallow. These gems are mighty tasty, (perfect yolks), and come in a variety of sizes and even colors. Suggested donation is $4 per dozen.

We carry all sorts of eggs at the Barn: Quartz eggs that glow, especially near candlelight, robin’s egg soaps with a scent we could inhale every day for the rest of our lives, and as you will see here, sculptures of eggs in nests and driftwood made by Mary Ann Burk. These works are really extraordinary. A little haunting, even. They look like fossilized eggs or even like the bones and echoes of eggs from some ancient memory. Brita Lineberger just brought us some beautiful note-cards: prints of her latest water- colors capturing, (you guessed it), eggs. They are just so lovely.

The bulbs in the garden are beginning to pop out a little.
Being an egg.  Being a bulb.  Becoming a bird.  Becoming a bloom. At long last something new.