Whoosh! A flood of sunlight has unfolded all the sleeping bulbs and buds. Flowers below, flowers above. It’s a Flower Parade. Tulips, daffodils, drifts of Delft blue, maples, pines, birch, wafts of yellow pollen. Now is the time to celebrate re-birth. I wish you a very merry re-birthday.
Here are a few beauties from my Easter garden. Re-birth from underground.
And a few other plants that caught my eye as I was out with the goats. Re-birth in abundance.
Summer is nearly upon us; breathing down our necks, in fact. Summer begins on May Day, the first of May, the day the fey return. The fairies go underground, into their hills, for the winter every year on November 1, the Day of the Dead. And return to insure the fertility of the crops with the festivities of May Day. Re-birth of Ancient Wisdom.
The beautiful violet fairy that graces this issue of the ezine was created by Rae D’Jur. She, more than any other person, is responsible for pushing me into teaching herbal medicine. We met in the early 1970’s. I encouraged her in her interest in using the wild plants around us as food and medicine, and she encouraged mine. When she couldn’t make it back home for her class at a local community college, she convinced me to teach it for her. Little did I realize I would still be doing it forty years later. Last month, after Rae’s death, her oldest daughter sent me her mom’s class notes for those first classes. Life spirals around and around, through death and back again. Our younger selves reach out to us from images and words, evoking stirrings and melodies half remembered, unforgettable, savory, satisfying. Re-birth follows death.
Around the same time – well, exactly forty years ago, according to him – I met Steven Foster, now noted herbalist and author Steven Foster. I used his book Herbal Emissaries (co-authored with Yue Chongxi, whose family were herbalists to the emperors for over three hundred years) to help prepare for my video course on adaptogens. And I reach for his book Peterson’s Field Guide to Medicinal Plants (co-authored with our beloved James Duke) when I want to know how Steven relates to a plant that is new to me. I feel doubly blessed to have found a teaching home at FireOmEarth in Eureka Springs, because it is Steven’s hometown and we get to spend time together. Life is good. Re-birth opens the heart.
And here come the apprentices of 2017. After just a few days, they have received their first assignments and have learned how to harvest and prepare a variety of wild plants to create delicious salads. What’s in your wild salad this week? Re-birth is a barefooted dance.
We’ll be making more wild salads this weekend at both of my classes. Join us and re-birth your taste buds.
Green blessings are everywhere.