Planting the Medicine January 21, 21016
I am an Herbalist. I love plants and always have from the time I was a little girl. The pictures I have of myself where always out side, in the woods, in the yard. I was blessed to be raised in a family that cared for the earth and believed we should leave it better than we found it. Every time I saw destruction of some wild place it would truly hurt my heart and bring me to tears. I can not separate myself from that place that is as much a part of me as a hand or a leg. It feeds me and clothes me and gives me shelter. Water in which to wash and drink with. And beauty, so much beauty to feed my soul and make me smile or bring me to tears. The well of emotion that can come up at a wonderful sunset, or a flock of geese flying over head to tell me that the ungodly heat is done with for a few months. Their cries like music for my soul. I always stop and listen as they fly over. Do they have any idea how much their flying over me brings such joy? Do they understand that I wait for them every year? Knowing that when they come I can look forward to snow and ice and cold nights by warm fires? I always stop when I hear them coming, take a deep breath of gratitude into my heart and thank Creator for bringing them to me.
But now we are in winter and entering the time of medicine planting for me. I gather the seeds, listening as I peruse the catalogs to see what medicine wants to be grown this year. There are the standards for me, Mother worth, Meadowsweet, Yarrow, Echinacea, Mullein, Butterfly weed, Arnica and Chamomile. This year there will be new friends in Culver’s root, Blue cohosh, Black Cohosh, Wild yam, Teasel and Red Bergamot just to name a few. I am so excited about the Teasel! Such an amazing plant-so stately and tall, forming lovely cups to hold water up the stem where the leaves attach, cone shaped flower heads, the blooms in a lavender circle around like a wreath of flowers on a new brides head. And the medicine! So important for fighting Lyme! What a gift! We will have to wait two years for the bloom—this year just a rosette—next year the stalks and blooms. I do hate the wait but it teaches me patience. It teaches me that some things we must wait for. Hoping we will see it, that the plants will germinate, will grow, that the summers will not be too harsh, that no drought or floods come to stop their progress. When we plant a garden we do plant hope. Hope that we will see it bloom!