Archive for October, 2010

I Want to be Scene Green

Hear those burgundy skirts rustling the wind? See that golden leaf (finally) falling into the arms of that patch of earth it has been flirting with all summer? Fall has sashayed onto the scene. I am thinking about spending time with my favorite herbs before they tuck their healing leaves and blossoms underground for the winter. I want to get out and dig more dandelion root, spend time with burdock, and gather some of sassafras’ spectacular leaves. More than anything though, I am craving being in the green.

A few years back I had an experience that is only now starting to make sense to me. I was having a miserable day: my daughter was sick, I was tired, all of our interactions were fraught with tension and I felt close to the breaking point. I decided that we should go outside. I bundled my daughter and I up and off we went to get take out from one of my favorite vegetarian restaurants. I picked up our order and was rushing back home– still tense– when I decided to take a little detour. “Let’s go to the park,” I said to Serene. She agreed.

The minute the soles of my shoes touched the grass, I softened. I went to my favorite tree–a gigantic, beautiful oak close to one of the entrances in the park. I stood and leaned on the tree. My breathing deepened. My tension began to disappear. I looked at my daughter and felt more compassion for us both than I had felt all day.

That day I learned (again) that there is something there–in the green and the brown trunks and the rich soil–that is ready to embrace us. There is something there that is ready to befriend us and help us find health and balance if we are willing to get beyond our fears.

My husband recently had an experience gathering burdock root and taking an infusion of it to work. He said he scared everyone in the office. This was burdock he dug up. It was not something he had purchased or something that came from a controlled space like a garden. People asked him how he could be sure it was clean. He was surprised by their reactions but I explained that as a bona fide city girl, I could relate. My journey with herbs has meant  having to throw out all those things that connect “earth” with “dirt” and “being dirty.” I have learned to trust the earth, to trust that I can use a root that I dig up to make great medicine. I remind myself that this is the way my great-grandmother did it. This is the way our grandmothers and great aunts kept the family healthy for generations.

But what I learned that day in the park with my gorgeous daughter and my tensions evaporating like dew drops on the sun had nothing to do with all that. I learned that there really is healing energy out there in the green for us. Sometimes we don’t have to gather anything but the courage to sit quietly among the leaves and trees and let them help us get back to our centers.

Have you had any healing experiences simply being among plants?

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