Tuesday, March 17, 2009

An Herbalist is a Naturalist

Relatively simple practices that will strengthen your intimacy with plants:

~Record the weather every morning. Go outside and feel the air, the temperature, the taste, smell and quality. Look at the sky. Listen to the sounds. Identify the wind. Push your finger into the soil. Look at the location of the sun, write down the time. 

~Moonwatch. Do the above exercise under the moon.

~Watch the same plant for two years, weekly or daily during it's active season, and record changes. Sketch pictures, note size, color, and texture changes. Push your finger into the soil. Smell the plant.

~Hug trees as often as possible.

~Bud watch. Watch and journal the life cycle of a live tree twig. 

~Eat your lawn. Eat the dandelions, violets, chickweeds, ground ivy, purslane, plantain, and clover. Journal your recipes, gathering experience, and how you feel when you've eaten them.

~Pick one or more animals that you eat. Research what they eat and how they digest.

~Count flower petals.

Oh, there are so many ways indeed. But my main point is that intimacy with plants, to me, isn't a hobby, or an occupation, or some esoteric thing. It is simply how I want to co-exist. It is my way. I'm not perfect at it. It's a practice. It involves all of nature. Herbs are my heart.... existing within the interdependent ecosystem of my whole body.... they work together. As does the forest with the cohosh, the spring with the bloodroot, and the meadow with the yarrow. And so it is, that we create a practice; little rituals to sharpen, connect, love, and learn. 


annie kelleher said...

such wonderful ideas...

Yarrow said...

Doesn't everyone do these things? lol Of course not, but it such a part of me and my life that it seems as if it would be everyone's. I am very much enjoying teaching my four year old, Sophie to do these things too. Of course, she is a natural at it already, weren't we all as children. Blessings.

Michele said...

Absolutely essential items! I carry cayenne with me too with two little girls and a farm, it is indispensable. Thank you as well for the lovely comments on my Blog and I am so glad that you are enjoying the earrings.