Romancing the Orange

Dear Reader,

We are just days away from February, and we got our first snowfall today, along with some of our coldest temperatures so far this year. Snow is not something we get a lot of here in southeast Virginia, and when it does fall, it usually wreaks havoc on the roadways. We have a lot of bridges and overpasses here because of our beautiful waterways, but when the wind chill is at 19 degrees, it is no fun if you have to drive in the frozen slushy mess. The snow has stopped but the winds have picked up and as I sit here looking out of my living room window, I can see the trees sway as the wind howls. It makes me want to curl up under a toasty blanket and read a good book.

The long cold days of winter can be stressful and depressing, so how do we combat the chilly gray days that seep into our moods? Oranges.

Yes, oranges do seem like an unlikely cure for the wintertime blues, but hear me out. They are delicious and versatile, you can use everything from the juice to the rind. They are good for you and can contribute to your daily vitamin C, but what about your mood? How can orange juice and vitamins uplift your spirit? Consider the orange in myth and legend, it has long been a symbol of love and marriage. It is thought to be the fruit referred to as the golden apple in Greek mythology when Hercules was challenged to steal the golden apple to give as a wedding gift to Zeus.

In eastern history, the orange symbolizes happiness and prosperity.

The scent of an orange blossom can stir the soul on a warm spring day.

Oranges and orange trees have appeared in art for centuries, poems from the 12th have been written about the orange. It is certainly not something to be overlooked.

But, for now, in these cold days of winter, let’s treat ourselves and romance our souls with the orange. I’ve mentioned the use of citrus in the past in regard to aromatherapy. But Sarah Ban Breathnach has another use for citrus to help indulge yourself and chase away the doldrums of winter, in her book Romancing the Ordinary, a rice wine and tangerine bath. Can you imagine anything more luxurious? I’ve used it and it is wonderful! The rice wine is a detoxifier and the citrus well, it adds to the romantic mood and relaxes you. Draw yourself a nice hot bath, I put two tangerines, but you can use oranges as well, in a mesh bag, and hang it under the running water, then I cut an orange in half and let it float along in the water. You could even scoop out enough to put a little candle inside and really set the mood. If you enjoy wine, a glass of your favorite further adds to the relaxation; or a nice cuppa. The point is to use whatever brings you joy.

Take care of you, dear reader, until next time…..

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