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I wished to post roses for you today, but the roses are not blooming right now.  The next best thing are the fuzzy grayish plants that we call lamb’s ear, which make big leafy rosettes, the flowers of winter.

In spring this plant will send up a tall stalk with pale yellow flowers. When the flowers die back, the stalk fills with seeds, a nice source of food for birds in the fall.

Somehow the beautiful foliage survives the winter cold. Maybe the fuzzy jacket helps. You can buy these plants and find instructions on gardening web sites telling you how to grow them, but ours just come up by themselves, a few feet from wherever they were the year before. If they come up in the middle of the yard, I ask Mark to mow around them since they are so pretty.

I’ve read that the native Americans used the soft leaves of this plant to bandage wounds, and I have wrapped cuts with them, securing the leaf with first aid tape, when I was short of band-aids. They are soft and absorbent and apparently have antiseptic qualities.

Getting wounded is unavoidable. Even if you never leave your house you can be wounded, both physically and emotionally. So it makes no sense to organize yourself around not getting wounded. It’s just not possible to ensure you are successful at this.

Sure, avoid being reckless, but also have a plan for what you will do when you are inevitably hurt. Look for something in your environment that has healing properties like lamb’s ear.

Caregiving comes with a full dose of emotional wounding. Maybe you are looking after your mother, whose dementia has progressed to the level where last week for the first time she didn’t recognize you. Of course you know this is not personal, just the progression of her disease, but in your heart it feels terrible and rejecting. Does this mean she doesn’t know you have been visiting every day? Probably that is just what it means.

Wounds like this run deep, and they crop up unexpectedly. If you are a caregiver you will be wounded again. Have an emotional first aid kit ready. Who will you call when you feel like the wind just got knocked out of you? What can you read that will help you stay centered through this difficult time? How can you staunch emotional bleeding and start to promote healing?

A healing remedy like lamb’s ear may just pop up in your environment. Maybe you discover an emotionally robust neighbor who knows how to be there for you. You may have to go looking for this first aid kit, though, at least parts of it. Check your support network today. If your first aid kit is a bit bare, add a few supplies so you will be well cared for when you need it most.

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