If there's one strong imprint I came home from the Women's Herbal Conference with, it's a deeper commitment to my relationship with Nature.
As a wildcrafter, I'm very conscious of what I take, how I take it, and what I give back. I've always taught my students the factors in friendship that create honorable exchange. However I'm realizing, after some time spent in class with other wild plant tenders, that in this era, our giving back must be increased exponentially.
Karyn Sanders asks us: "What if all the herbalists gave back 7 times what they took. How would our world look in seven generations?"
And my mind exploded.
It's time to bring more than a ceremonial give-away when we harvest. Not that that isn't vital - it's that more than that is critical. Upon harvesting, I'll now be toting with me seeds, water, compost, rabbit droppings, and various items that not only feed the soil, but sow the healing seeds for the next century. I'll be encouraging the wild seeds to blow in the wind, bow towards the earth, swim in the river, or travel on the fur of a creature.... however their dispersal needs are met. I'll be watching more closely the communities, habitats, directions and neighbors of the plants, and their tribal habits for thriving. I'll be sensitive and active in meeting their needs, for they generously meet mine.
Herbalists: let us walk our talk. We are the medicine.