roots, medicine makers, and my calling

Ah, the making of medicines. I am a creator. I began my herbal journey growing weed with my dear friend Aymar, sneaking around with jars of water in or packs and visiting our sort of pathetic little plants–somehow that led to us sitting quietly, outside, listening to birds sing and watching rain fall. That was the medicine we needed, and our scrappy little harvest was a bonus.

After that I was a home herbalist, a family herbalist, and I was searching for the way forward.  I decided to be an herb farmer. Moved to the country, planted a lot of  Calendula. I learned to ID. I learned to forage. Amazing. But it was the making of medicines that spoke to me, more than anything else. After years of creating mediocre art, writing poetry, and wandering about it was the CRAFT of medicine making that struck me, that grounded me, that fulfilled me like nothing else ever had.

And though I do consult, I do teach classes, I do write about herbalism absolutely nothing recharges me like medicine making. Nothing reminds me that I am exactly where I need to be like making medicines by hand, like digging roots in the cold and muddy swamp, like wielding my precious digging knife and mucking up my boots.  Bug bites, sunsets, chapped lips, hours on my hands and knees harvesting precious violet flowers or digging massive burdock roots. Mmmmmmmmmmm.Coming home, bags of bark, my thighs sore from squatting and hiking, my dog tired from “helping”, my nails dirty and hair full of thorny crap. Herbgasm.

Then the washing, the  chopping, the glug-glug-glug of my liquor and the creative spirit flowing right into my medicines is just pure joy. Pure, unadulterated, present-moment, interspecies wonder. Elixirs? Blending?  Oh, yes. And I’m shaking my jars to booty bass and I’m pressing every drop of juice outta last summer’s precious flowers…..there is no greater heaven. The tastes, the smells, the hands-on, the healing intention, wrapping them up and sending them off to wonderful people. I can’t see myself doing anything else. I am an artisan. The craft of herbalism is a beautiful and meaningful craft which feeds me deeply, and I am thankful to be right where I belong.

 

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solomon's seal root
solomon’s seal root

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