04 February 2009

what does it mean to spend a year in silence when you are an herbalist...step "0"

I tried last year. I tried. I wanted to harvest. I wanted to make my succulent jams, jellies and apple butters. I wanted to... But I couldn't. One could say that my heart wasn't into it, but I am not sure which part of me it was because there was sho' nuf from within urging me to press on, and continue as i have done for nearly seventeen years- harvest. Make tinctures. Craft oils and then salves. Brew a batch of beer and wine or a few. And the coltsfoot came up, and I was ready to... stop. Stop doing. To be. To breathe with the plants. I did not lay hands to the garden outside my apartment. I watched. I watched the garden. And I learned to watch the feelings of gnawing guilt that swelled inside, like tidal waves, for they would subside, because I was not working the land, or making my jellies, or so...

If anyone should ask why I had not planted anything this year, I would say that I needed to see what the garden would do when left to its own. In fact, it felt like a mandate from the Earth Herself. I let my 
underarm hair grow, and all of the other hairs women are "supposed" to shave. Wild like my garden. We are seeing what we look like without the influence of man's hand.
Perhaps I am becoming more acquainted with the words of my twenty five year old soul: "I am Woman Wild, like the Weeds that grow, i spread my lovin' all around. To hear my Song, you must go low- send your Roots into the Ground." (copyright Rev. Ursula Carrie Wilkerson 1997-2009)

Quiet observation of the garden, giving a nod to my green allies when we pass.

How this year of "doing nothing" (step 0 in the Six Steps of Healing in our Wise Woman Tradition of Healing) informed my relationship with the Earth, with my work with the Earth? How shall i use the value of stillness, and not chugging on with the doing?

Of this, I inhale deeply- and I suppose we shall see.
We shall see.

1 comment:

Corinne. said...

Oh Ursula there have been many a season I roll through life without touching the soil like my true self desires to. The plants are slowly teaching me peace and patience. They make me humble in the knowledge, despite what I've been taught by many, that they will sustain themselves with or without me and that sometimes they do much times better than if I had tried to interfere with their true process to begin with.

My appreciation for your sprit and theirs abounds.