I cannot express how comforted I was to read these words from my friend, Sara Marshall.
Some of you may have picked up on who my teacher was. I don't speak of him much, as it is a soft spot for me. He has passed on and beyond that tenderness, it is difficult for me to hold space for the negativity people try to infuse into the stories when I mention that he was Lakota. I spent two years, totally alone other than with him, his wife, and occasionally his tribe. His gifts were beyond words and beyond this realm. I can only continue offering them, not describe them. So when I read these words today from a fellow herbalist who also had a native teacher, I felt instantly touched. Not only that, but she shares the same sentiment of the sacred not being for sale. She has a strong awareness of the land she inhabits and is very respectful when talking about all that she benefits from it.
That said, in addition to the PDF I will share below, she also said something I want to share with you all which is this..."A lot of the native folk in my life also talk to me about how important it is for folks of colonizer decent to reweave themselves into the land. If you don't learn how to live well on her, and if you can't live alongside the rest of the family of things, you will only continue to perpetuate harm." Wow... right?! I have been thinking a lot about how I can begin to teach and offer guidance into plant and spirit connection. Especially for folks who do not have the woods in their back yard. As foraging season opens up, I will be outside none stop and so more of this will naturally come. And for now, with Sara's permission, I am sharing this beautiful list of ways you can start to incorporate now.
Lastly, I invite you to think on the word "Organolepsis" next time you are sitting with a tree or plant. This word means to use your senses to learn the energetics of a plant. Especially with all of these spring edibles popping up, bruise a leaf, smell it, nibble it, note wether it feels cool and moist or warm and dry, is it oily? I will go on about energetics in depth here soon. For tonight, you have this beautiful word medicine to take in. Enjoy.