I just received a lavender spa kit from Thistle Farms, and as I opened it I became strangely emotional. My chest started to tighten up and a sob started working its way up my throat. My best guess is that this unexpected reaction was tri-fold.
First, lavender’s what my mom smells like. I’m pretty fond of her, and I haven’t seen her since December, which I realize isn’t a very long time, but as I said, I like her loads, and I miss her. Lavender’s her favorite scent, and honestly I used to hate it. But with lavender essential oils in baths, lavender lotion, lavender soaps . . . soon the smell became comforting. So when I opened the box tonight, it felt like a hug from home.
Second, I could honestly feel the love emanating from each of these products. Thistle Farms is a non-profit business in Nashville, Tennessee, that I first heard of on NPR (go figure). It’s operated by the women of Magdalene, a two-year residential community for “women who are recovering from sexual abuse, addiction, and life on the streets. . . Magdalene stands as a witness to the truth that in the end, love is more powerful than all the forces that drive women to the streets.” I picked up the shower gel and body butter and body polish, and recognized them each as testimonies of lives changed. It was overwhelming.
Third, this came at exactly the perfect moment. I’m struggling recently to connect heart and head, so it was powerful to have my senses flooded with reminders of what I am passionate about and why.
So thanks to mom, and thanks to Thistle Farms. I’m proudly a Thistle Farmer.
Why the Thistle?
Thistles grow on the streets and alleys where the women of Magdalene walked. Considered a weed, they have a deep root that can shoot through concrete and survive drought. And in spite of their prickly appearance, their royal and soft purple center makes the thistle a mysterious and gorgeous flower. Being a Thistle Farmer means the world is our farm, and that we choose to love the parts fo creation that others have forgotten or condemned.