Monday, May 14, 2012

A Quiet Corner
Study corner, up and ready to roll!

Our house is somewhat small and our office area is high traffic, considering there's just the two of us right now. I needed a specific space to study, so I dedicated the small alcove in the living room to that purpose.  I've been slowly collecting and reading herb books during the past year (of waiting to be in herb school!), so those treasures had to be close at hand and easily accessible.  A cupful of fresh highlighters, some notebooks, and flowers from my daughter for Mother's Day...not a bad set up!  The table was a roadside freebie, and couple of discount and thrift store lamps...voila...instant girly study corner!

Wonderful herb poster sent with love from my dear friend Deb
To top things off, my kindred spirit friend, Deb, sent me the beautiful herb poster, as practical as it is lovely...and my husband framed it for my birthday.  My cup overflows with blessings!

I'm happy to have already made it through most of the first study unit.  I simply love what I've studied so far. Navigating the website is something I'm easing into since I'm not as computer-savvy as most modern third graders, but I'm sure I'll get the hang of it eventually.

The only thing missing from this picture is my loyal  Australian shepherd footwarmer named Kaleb who curls up under the table as I'm sitting there and takes long naps.  Isn't any reading more enjoyable accompanied by soft dog snores?

Where's your getaway to read and dream and plan?  I'd love to see pics or hear about them...


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Herbalist-in-training, at last!!

I am overjoyed, ecstatic, humbled, and overall, grateful!!  After a lengthy process of a lot of work, saving, hoping and antcipating..and waiting some more...the day has finally come in which I've enrolled in herbal school!!!  I thank God with all my heart for allowing me the opportunity and providing enough resources to meet our needs and having enough to squirrel away for this very moment... and thanks to my friends for their prayers and their patience in listening to so many of the details that went into the process.  A great debt of gratitude is also owed to my husband, without whom it would not only not be possible, but would never be as much fun growing, learning, and experimenting with plants...all of which have been integral (and will continue to be) to both of our being IN LOVE with the magnificent plants right around us.  Oh, how our eyes have been opened to the newly-seen worlds, and oh the wonders we experience daily when we stop to marvel, and even participate, in them.   What wisdom God crafted in all His living variety!

It finally happened!!  I enrolled in the East West School of Planetary Herbology, a school I consider a gold standard in the herbal world.  Many considerations went into my choice, but I think the clincher was reading Michael Tierra's book The Way of Herbs.  His integration of three major world traditions of herbalism...western, Chinese traditional medicine, and Ayuveda...impressed me as a fluid framework that allows for intuitive use of many well-known and globally-used herbs, with solid training, supportive staff, and an enthusiasm for pairing diet and herbs for safe and powerful healing and vitality.

My big box of books arrived in the mail, and I've been on a "new book high" ever since!  I'll learn to navigate the website, which is part of the distance learning process, but am SO SO happy to have real, solid proof of this step in becoming an herbalist...a fresh new stack of books, a new pack of highlighters ready to mark them up to my heart's content (it's how I read!), and the spiral-bound coursework that I've already dived headlong into.  Color me HAPPY!!!

My main blog is The Back Forty, but this blog is the offshoot that will specifically detail this herbal journey, specifically.  I want to walk this out a step at a time and SAVOR it, this playing in the herbs!  I believe plants  are simply miracles, and many of the most overlooked of our herbs (numerous ones considered weeds) are some of the most magnificent gifts to this world, beneficial to all parts of the world around them and without which we would be woefully lacking, or even cease to exist.

I can't express it well enough in type, but I am excited to be regaining ground my own family has lost in recent generations.  Too much collective wisdom has been lost to the arrogance of "progress."  May this path of Return be both joyful, grateful, and restoring!!

I thank God in all things for giving me another day to learn more about His natural world.  Profound JOY!!!

The She-hecheyanu
Baruch attah Adonai eloheinu melekh ha-olam sheh-echeyanu ve'qi-ehmanu va' higiyanu laz'man hazeh.
Blessed are you Lord our God, ruler of the universe, who has granted us life, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this occasion!