Resentments are like taking poison and expecting the other person to die, right? Many of you are familiar with this saying, and it came up in an unusual way as I foraged for this mandala. In this case it applies to the red dead nettle plant. It arrived with a load of manure I hauled in for the garden. It looked cute, though it had a nasty habit of spreading madly. I kept pulling it out, and to this day it keeps coming. Then I saw it on another mandala-maker’s post and decided to investigate further. Depending on who’s talking, it’s a “nutritious superfood” or a weed. I’m in the latter camp, and was resenting it mightily, thinking bad thoughts about it as I weeded. So why am I letting a little plant poison my thoughts? It thrives in wet, fertile soil, and that’s the environment I’ve provided. And it makes a great mandala ingredient. Further investigation reveals that it can be used as a natural dye, which, when combined with ferrous sulfate (iron), gives green. Now my resentment has lifted – sort of. Why do I want to have my mind full of this sort of stuff?

Pires Japonica leaves, red dead nettle tops, helllebores, miner’s lettuce, pansies, and combination of Siberian bugloss and forget-me-nots

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