Swans for California

I made sachets to raise money for those affected by the Camp Hill and Woolsey fires. They are small drops in a very large bucket, but if you would like to contribute there are “swan love” lavender sachets available here. 100% of the money will go to California wildfire relief, divided evenly between Direct Relief and the California Community Foundation Wildfire Relief Fund. (Learn more here or donate directly via links.) Also, from now until the end of the year 50% of all web orders will be donated to help people recover from the firesLast summer my mom and I drove to Carmel, which is a little south of Santa Cruz on the Monterey Peninsula. It was a cool foggy day, the only day we had together before she flew back to New York and I flew elsewhere. My mom wanted to harvest lavender. At first I struggled (as I often do) to pull my mind from the realm of fog and airplanes, but as we filled baskets the purple flowers released their calming magic and brought me down to earth. We bundled bouquets for friends and filled the trunk of my car with stems to dry while I was on tour. The drive to the airport was unusually mellow. The car still smells like a spa. Back in Santa Cruz I bought this “swan lake” fabric from Harts Fabric, a store on Seabright (the street that inspired the song), intending to make sachets. This weekend while thinking about the fires and feeling hopeless I finally opened the bin containing the dried flowers and my room was transformed into a summer lavender field. As I tied each one I reflected on all the love that California has given me, from childhood dreams to natural beauty to inspiration, acceptance, community, expansion, right down to the food I ate for dinner. I hope you feel the love I'm sending your way.

Now I live in winter, where a family of swans recently moved in across the street. How they keep their bellies warm in the cold water, I don't know, but I imagine love has something to do with it.

Happy Thanksgiving,