In Ireland, country of light and sun worship for millennia, the land of little light in winter- it is vital that we soak in as much sun as possible when it does appear. This is not only of obvious mental and feel-good benefit, but the fact is that sunlight stimulates the pineal gland, which keeps our endocrine system (our hormones) functioning properly.
We would do well to consider light as a kind of food, or nourishment, for the body, as important as the food we ingest!
Think of how you feel when you take in the sight of a beautifully-arranged meal- the colour is as stimulating as the smell and sight of the food. (Which makes me wonder about the link between light and our taste buds).
Have you noticed the amount of yellow after exploding onto the palettes of Ireland in the last few weeks since we’ve been blessed with warmer weather? Dandelions for one but also in particular the hardy shrub that appears at the end of our long, dark winters—the explosively yellow and paradisically-exotically-coconut-smelling gorse flowers.
This to me is an example of the assertive nature of the colour yellow—an almost rebellious act of defiance to flourish and brighten up the grey-laden Irish skies –an excuse to believe in the power of vitality and sun energy- to show the confidant radiance of showing oneself in all one’s glory—without any fear—something that the Irish themselves are still learning to do.
Common gorse flowers a little in late autumn and through the winter, coming into flower most strongly in spring.
Gorse flowers are edible and can be used in salads, tea and to make a non-grape-based fruit wine.
According to Wikipedia, Gorse is high in protein, which to me speaks of its inner strength and may be used as feed for livestock, particularly in winter when other greenstuff is not available.
For a great recipe of Gorse cordial check out Robin Harford’s excellent blog eatweeds.co.uk