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Autumn is upon us and with the season we bask in the Indian summer sun and behold the harvest of our year’s labor. I am blessed to be witnessing the cycle of my own life in magnitude. Years turn into decades and decades turn into lifetimes.

These gloriously sunny days, I keep finding myself choosing the backroads that take me past the little log cabin where Trillium Herbal Company was born. The little log cabin built around a huge fieldstone fireplace, upon which “The Hive” was written and depicted in beach pebbles. It was done at the request of the pioneer matriarch of that original door county clan. Who used to call her babies, grandbabies and great grandbabies asking them to buzz on back to the hive each summer. Here in Door County, we live on a peninsula, a tenacious spine of solid limestone rock that stands 50 miles long and 14 miles wide between the waters of Green Bay and Lake Michigan. I’ve always been delighted by the changing seasons of this place. Thousands of people come here each season to enjoy our rich forests and lakes punctuated by dramatic bluffs. I feel blessed to call this beautiful slice of earth home.

Everything felt possible during those early days floating on the soft lavender cloud of MotherLove. My days were packed with filling mason jars with my product, attaching hand-painted watercolor labels with rubber bands. My formulating bench was a door propped up onto wooden crates. I smile looking back on the late nights of formulating and experimenting, blending melting and stirring, making soap, laundry powder, flower waters, perfumes and butters. I still dream of the great great grandmothers and how they did it all. If they wanted something, they had to figure out how to make it themselves. I love to think about all the growing, harvesting and formulating of medicine for their own children, my grandmothers, and the threads of love and connection that are forever woven throughout our DNA.

In my own first years of motherhood, Trillium Organics was also born into the world. I imagined a world like my great grandmothers growing a prolific cottage garden bursting with all of the herbs, vegetables, fruits, grains, chickens, goats and one sweet brown cow. I gathered washtubs, a wringer washer and washed mountains of baby cloth diapers with a home made washing powder. I swoon to think of the delight I felt when filling those first jars with calendula, chamomile and lavender, covering them in olive oil and placing them outside to bathe in solar and lunar energy. Over the decades, I have come to recognize that while my original vision of the pastoral abundance enjoyed by my grandmothers was probably more impacted by their daily struggle to survive and support their own children. Still, the lesson of intention remains true. Trillium Herbal Company, created to bring products made with the same integrity and care that a mother brings to the care of her own, still hand crafts with loving intention every product we make and sell. Celebrate the ease and joy of the modern bathing experience with the comfort and safety

As a young mother, I set out to create a line of skin care that held the same integrity of my grandmothers and their grandmothers before them. Today that spark of a dream has become very real. Natural and organic products have spread into the mainstream. The idea that by making better choices today, we create a better future for generations to come has taken hold. The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, Organic Consumers Association, and Environmental Working Group, have changed consumer perceptions of safe agricultural and personal care practices for good.

Trillium continues to make pure, nontoxic, sustainably crafted products are safe and restorative for the user and their downstream local communities. Today,I am like many of my peers, sandwiched between generations, caring for both children and a parent, and again, caring for those I love has become a more than full time job. My challenging lesson today is to realize that by choosing to care for ourselves, we are thus able to care for those we love.

I will be sharing my thoughts and revelations in this forum monthly, tune in again next month.

Karen