Someone recently asked if I have given up my herbal school studies, since it's been a very long time between posts.
Here's the update ~~
As happens sometimes in life, twists and turns made things interesting. For the past year and about seven months I was a caregiver for two lovely clients at the same residence. The hours changed through the months as their needs did, beginning as regular part time and then becoming full time with twelve hour shifts.
It was a unique job and I knew it was something I was meant to do. I learned so much from these two older women. We certainly became a part of each others' lives, spending that much time together! I am the better for it.
Again, I learned so much from them both. I also studied my herb textbooks a lot during that time. And not being a very Type A person to begin with, I put most of the paperwork on the back burner.
I have never stopped reading and experimenting with herbs because it's simply who I am...I love the mysteries of plants, especially plants considered weeds, or not considered at all by most people. I love the secrets they offer so generously that used to be known by past generations as common knowledge. I love that they operate in the body in symphony with so many constituents that they'll never be fully isolated by science into neat little bundles of chemicals to be controlled and manipulated by modern medical arrogance. They function best as a whole, and are understood best by interaction and perhaps some intuition, and an appreciation of longstanding and fast-disappearing traditions.
I've glutted slowly and happily on herb books that call to me. As I read their pages, more and more certain herbs imprint on my thinking until I begin to "understand" them better. I take certain herbs in infusions daily or weekly for the way they help me. I love the pungency of one here, the green hay scent of another, the snappy biting spiciness of others.
At what point IS someone an herbalist? I can't answer that question, but the quest itself, it IS herbalism.
I identify best with the plant swaying in the wind right there along the roadside, so happy to notice it while it waves and blossoms happily away whether I ever notice it or not. Pollinators glut in the goldenrod's soft bristling blossoms of gold, honeybees turn and embrace the purple splashes of loosestrife, her spiked sunward floral wands.
One of my clients, one of the two, died in May. I was right by her side. I was also beside my other client through a heavy mourning stage for her lifetime best friend. I had a lot of time to think. Some days just could not be buffered well no matter what I tried, others were beautiful. That's rather how life goes, I think. Some things take precedent while others pause.
Part of my herbal journey has been on pause, and the heart of it has not. I really REALLY need to resume my coursework. I love that it is designed to be self-paced and it fits these hills and valleys that way. After a year and seven months total, my second client joined family out-of-state. We are still in touch, and she understands more than some the love I have for these plants and for the lifestyle we are working hard to transition to. At first she did not understand, but now she does, probably better than most. I needed someone to understand, and I'm glad it was Miss J.
Anyway, I'm NOT gone, though this blog for a long while has "gone to seed" ha :) I needed adjustment time to changes that have happened recently, including no longer being their caregiver and also including the fact my body is not co-operating many times I wish it would. I have a knee/leg condition that occasionally makes it impossible to be mobile, and at other times I have limited mobility but can still "get around." I want to catch up on some things that got very behind during those months of long long days away from home. And I'm simply enjoying being with my husband rather than being two ships passing in the night. He is such a gift to me from God.
That's another thing I've had a lot of time to think about. No matter how anyone else defines it, my focus in loving these secretive and bountiful healing plants will be that God put a wisdom in each living created thing,a wisdom greater than human understanding. I will not attribute that to any earth goddess or spirit elsewhere. I DO know that there is some animating force in every created thing, whether it be mineral, amoeba, plant, animal, insect or moisture droplet. We do not understand the WORLDS around us. Microbes are worlds around and beneath us. Each particle has its function and its LIFE. Some folks talk about the spirits of the plants...I'm not sure I'm going to term them that, but each plant is its own unique living "being" able to communicate in ways different than human communication with the world around it.
I'm the crazy plant lady who talks to her plants, and I talk to animals, too. But I want to qualify something. I attribute all their wonders, mysteries, and benefits to their Maker. As I admire each beautiful original in creation, I pay tribute to THE Creator, Jehovah alone.
Back to my chores now. I shall be returning to coursework soon. Leaving my beloved herbs, never :-)