At this time of year we are normally sitting back to draw breath before the Christmas orders start arriving, but this year is slightly different. With our first A.S APOTHECARY shop about to open in Lewes we are clearing, sorting, painting, packing and making. It is rather more full on than we are used to, but the end and the beginning are within sight.
Opening a shop and therapy room is for us a pivotal moment, it's about visibly locating ourselves in our community, inviting people to try everything in our range, which few stockists have space to accommodate, but more than that it's about permanence. Bricks and mortar signal our intention to stay, confirm our commitment to the path we have chosen and the way we want to work. Right now with the political landscape shifting unnervingly under our feet, we want to root ourselves, to offer a gentle space and to invite you to join us. The shop opens on the 19th of November from Wednesday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm - we suspect the first week might be a little chaotic as we work out how everything fits together but by the following week we hope to be in our stride.
In the other part of our work, November signals the end of our gardening year - it is the moment when the first frost arrives cutting the tender annuals to the ground. The roses are now only sporadically throwing out the odd flower and the Calendula, once a brilliant sea of orange has almost finished flowering and now forms sculptural heads of curly seed for next years crop.
The Hawthorn in the hedgerow is still shiny with red berries and the wild roses have moved from delicate flower to plump rosehip. Every morning the paths and plants are decorated with dew filled cobwebs, the air is heavy with moisture and the leaves now falling in earnest turn slowly from vivid yellows and reds to brown. Hibernation approaches.
By 4pm it's dark, the temperature is falling, Winter is on its way. I have always found solace in the turning of the seasons, it is the inevitability of the changes that culminate at each solstice. The way the plants follow their familiar course is so comforting - the hunt for the first snowdrop, the scent of Sarcoccoca assailing the senses from seemingly invisible flowers, the bulbs pushing up through the warming soil, the moment the roses unfurl their petals to reveal their scent, the Calendula sticky and heart warming, the seeds appearing, the leaves turning and falling - this is the permanence, this is the rhythm to try and emulate, this is where peace is to be found.
So as we continue on our journey, we are very grateful to have you along - we are one community, part of an expansive landscape of peoples, linked by our common humanity.