when you think of survivalists, what spring into your mind? a bunch of dudes squeezed into camo shooting up pabst cans in a sand pit? home-armored suvs driving roughshod over precious native plants? weirdos stockpiling weapons, burying MREs and walkie-talkies in the backyard and prancing about in grease paint and boots?
ok, extremists are out there. but the reality is, most of us don’t carry about a flashlight or a length of rope, couldn’t climb a tree or fence if our life depended on it, can probably id one plant in our whole yard and would just lay down and wait to die if teh lights went out. why is that? having the good sense and practical knowledge to get oneself through a natural or unnatural disaster is not a treasured value in much of our current society. many of us are lucky to have a few band-aids and a butter knife on hand. and that is problematic. the basic skills we all need are available to everyone with a little effort and a pocket knife.
all too often the hunters and fisherpersons i’ve met couldn’t id a dandelion. and some herbalists can’t tie a knot or row a boat if their life depended on it. don’t get me wrong-i’m no the-world-is-going-soft drill sergeant. but why this false seperation? why can’t some dude in a trailer kill staph with herbs, and why can’t some new age purple-robed weirdo wear practical footwear and be skilled in self-defense? often we humans put ourselves and others into mutually exclusive (false!)categories and never shall we find common ground…
one of my main life’s mission is to be a bridge between many worlds, both tangible and non, class and gender, my background reflects both colonizer and colonized, i am a modern woman who contains multitudes. my love is not confined to democrat or republican. i share my information with carnivores and herbivores and all in between. you do not need to be sane to know plants. you do not need to be an american citizen to know plants. you do not need to be young, or old, or even embodied.
the ancient and vital skills of foraging for natural and unnatural objects, the ability to pack a fabulous first aid kit, to stop moderate bleeding and find an appropriate anti-spasmodic, the knowledge of edible fungi and how to take a crap in the woods are not luxuries. they are a vital part of human-ness which many many of us right now are completely and utterly out of touch with. we are not connecting to soil, plants, animals or the sea. but we can. just because you have not until now been doing what you long to do, does not mean you can not start. just because you are confused or frightened of dirt and forest does not mean it is a permanent state. any habit can be changed. and emotional state can evolve. anything closed can be opened.my apothecary and my knowledge are not just for the wealthy, or the comfortable. i do not teach plant id only to hippies or only to current herbalists. if you are interested in plants or herbs or foraging, but you are scared of being judged or overwhelmed i urge you to reconsider. i am not here to judge. i do not care where you are at on your journey. i am merely a lifelong student. i am here to share. you learn form me, i learn from you. it is a beautiful thing. we work together. foraging and botany and healing and medicine-making can even be fun! we just need to allow the knowledge and the joy in.or at the very least, stop kicking it out.