Friday, April 24, 2009

A ritual of communion as a budding herbalist

A ritual of communion with a plant could be explained as a courtship.

It is passionate and communications become easier the more time spent with another.
You begin to think alike and share without words.
You're more aware of one another and your bond grows deeper over time. the relationship may start out vague.
You may happen to be taking a walk along a path that you have taken may times before but this time, something draws your attention. You notice, at first it is a visual attraction.
You are drawn in but may not be sure why, not at first anyway.
You may even try to ignore it all together, continue on your day but at a later date or time a vivid picture of that attraction finds it's way back to your soul, burned into your minds eye is a visual of that plant, it's leaves, texture, smell, color and emotion. You find that periodically out of no where that image finds its way up through you and taps at you, sort of saying " hey, remember me?".
My communion was with the beautiful Milk Thistle. Out of the blue, in the middle of a thought or in my daily activities... There she is. With all her beauty. She is strong, protective, and giving. She is beautiful and vibrant. To me she is Grand, Her leaves are deep in green and through out are a lighter shade of green trailing up and out like veins. She is profound with her thorns, They jut out at predators but when you gently touch her they are forgiving. The color of her bloom is delicate and bright and very inviting. I fell in love with the Milk Thistle the very first time looking at her.
by CJG
Close your eyes and visualize, feel her energy... in time the nature spirits will come to you.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Reevis Mountain School of Self -Reliance ....

Peter Big Foot!

That's his name, you may or may not have heard of him. He is best known for his trek of 85 miles in 15 days through the Sonoran Desert without food or water back in 1975. he relied on only what he could forage through the desert. Check out his website for more incredible details.

My boyfriend and I spent 2 nights and two days out on his mountain with a small group of curious people from different walks of life.
One single mother, hospice nurse and sweet souled woman.

One guy who was corporate, marathon runner who turned ill with Hodgkin's disease In what he thought was the peak of his life, and then went naturopathic and will graduate as naturopathic doctor in about a year from now.

A Football star and his cheerleader wife and parents of two and grandparents, who are retired and well travelled and now live off the grid in Arizona and volunteer at a wild life rescue habitat.

Not to mention Nate the intern who is a wonderful cook and Peter Big Foot and his Crown Patricia.

We went up there with not many expectations, just some peace and tranquility to be had. We got that and a whole lot more. Words cannot give the experience any justice and I fear that I would diminish the experience by trying to share with words, and even though the photos that we took do not include the wealth of spirit and joy that was felt with the company and the stories that were told, I will add those photo's to this blog.

The food was outrageous and nourishing. It was unlike anything that we had ever tasted. My personal favorite was the turnip and rutabaga mash. My boyfriend loved the fresh free range egg omelette's that were made with fresh organic spinach from the garden.

With that here are a couple photo's. I would love to hear your Questions or comments.

Monday, April 6, 2009

On one side of the 8 plus foot orange metal fencing that surrounds the garden, are the back of some apartments. From within the garden, looking out I can see these apartments and the trash that is left out for our view.
I would love to see vines covering this side of the garden so the kids could remove themselves from the their surroundings... so that they could be surrounded by nothing but garden, nothing but nature.

I am also assuming that all the stray cats are from these apartments. The stray cats that come into the locked garden, obviously for the same reasons that the children do. Because there is some peace within those orange metal bars, Under the shade of the trees, away from the ugly world and into the nurture of nature.

On the inside of the fencing, and under some weeds that we have begun to clear from the ground, I am finding the stones that the kids have painted and the home-made stepping stones that have been thoughtfully placed throughout the walk ways.

In the trees, strung from branch to branch is twine and little painted swatches.It is the art work of the children, they hang and blow in the wind like flags, some faded by the sun, some weathered by the wind and rain and have become fringed at the edges.
Bright colors, names and imagination painted on little pieces of cloth adorn the trees and bring a sweetness here, I am falling in love.

There is a certain soft, forgiving spirit that I feel while here. It is tender and hopeful and full of love. It surrounds me and I become part of it.
I feel light, loving and loved.
I feel free in thought.
I am going to find something here, it is not something that I can physically touch, it is beyond that. It is within me and it will be healing. I feel it creeping up inside of me, from the earth and up through my veins. I do not know what it is but I welcome it, it is something that excites my spirit. It is something that I have not felt before, am I creating it or has it always been there. Waiting for me to find it?
Love and Gratitude. (thank you LG.!)

Today I had a chance to go back to "grounds for healing", the little healing garden for kids.
The fellow herbalism student that came with me today, tried to come to the garden last week but was sent away, was not allowed in the school or on the property because there was a "lock down" in progress. There had been a violent threat to the school or a student, or something like that.

It has been many many weeks since I have been there and things have changed since then. It is April and things have begun to grow (including the weeds) but there was hope, I could see it in the flowers that had bloomed at the base of the trees.
School was in session and the kids watched from afar Curious and wondering who we were and what we were doing, were we nice enough to approach or ???

Eventually a couple of little boys probably about 8 or nine years of age approached us and asked if they could come into the garden.
Their faces up against the metal bars, their big brown eyes peering in at us.
They asked several times, each time it was harder to say no. They were diligent and determined to come into the garden with us.
I wanted to let them in but we are not allowed to be alone with the children. We are volunteers, not social workers or teachers or affiliated with the school in anyway.We have to keep the gate locked to keep them out while we are there, it is sad to me but I completely understand too.
I suggested that they ask their teacher so that I would not have to say "no" any more.

Later 3 little girls found enough courage to come and ask too. Unfortunately, we had to send them away also. The girls with the same dark brown eyes as the boys, watching intently. The girls all in skirts and long dark hair with friendly little smiles on their faces. Small delicate hands clasping the bars,It was obvious to me how these children loved this garden, I felt honored to be cleaning it up for them.

The kids get to paint on the walls at the school and have painted some really adorable pictures.