Your furry leaves and blue starflowers,
summon bees at all the hours,
throughout spring and throughout summer,
summon all the honey mummers.
Look how their nimble legs alight
on tiny flowers’ azure shade,
they stay to taste your honeydew,
then zip away.
Whilst bumbles, yellows, tiny blues
are drunk, imbibing your sweet nectar,
they take no note of this defector,
absorbing in the view.
All I long for, all day long –
as here I sit, and hear their song,
(the buzz and zip as they fly past,
performing their important task) –
Is just to sit, and sit just here
‘til your blue starflower light appears,
and I imbibe its Grace.
Oh, nurturing Light! So brief, and clear!
When furry leaves wilt and winter is near,
renew my strength to love, and grieve,
for all starflowers gone to seed.
And so I stand, and now I go,
from bees, and light, and furry leaves,
return to children, love, and strife —
and all the tasks and joys of life.
-Hilary Jacobson, 2020
Borage is a beloved vegetable garden plant although only minimally used as food or medicine. It is beloved because of its flowers, called starflowers, and its ability to call bees into the garden, which are needed to fertilize the flowers of the fruit trees, peas, tomatoes, and so on.
Borage leaves however can be dried and infused as a tea, and the flowers can be plucked and added to salad or also infused to make tea. Their effect is mood-lifting and energizing, PLUS borage is also a galactagogue, that is, the leaves and flowers encourage milk production.
My book on growing and using lactogenic foods and herbs is almost ready for publication in November 2020. It will encompass both indoor and outdoor gardens, with easy-grow plants and protocols to support milk supply. I pray it will help families succeed in maintaining a good milk supply through any second or third waves or shut-downs during this coming winter and all following winters and years.
This poem, Blue Borage Prayer, is a tribute to the experience of the gardening parent. Pausing in the middle of a busy day, she is absorbed into the dance of sunlight and bees on the indescribable blue color of borage flowers. OK – full disclosure, this describes me.