Mid-May is the time the harvest season really kicks into full swing in the seasonal round here at RavenCroft Garden. The Hawthorn flower & leaf harvest begins and warmth and light hit a stride that causes me to kick off my shoes and head out for longer days in the great outdoors.
Last weekend, we headed east over the mountains to Leavenworth, scouting for the June: Cascades East HerbWalk. We explored several new spots and found new friends, plants and people both to learn with. Get outside and play is powerful medicine these days.
A west facing slope of Arrowleaf Balsam Root, Balsamorhiza sagittata
Upon my return, a friend asked if I made medicine out of the Balsam Root. I stopped and thought about that for a moment. I had lived in NE Washington for one chapter in my life surrounded by balsam root and was never called to "make" medicine with this plant.
I wondered for a second moment, why had I not done that? Two thoughts came to mind: 1. Standing in close proximity with Arrowleaf Balsam Root was medicine for me. And 2. This was not a plant I needed in my personal materia medica, the handful of plants I "make" medicine with as allies to support my well-being. That is to say, I had other plants that grew closer to me, were part of my seasonal round and served a similar purpose as Balsam Root.
This bumped the role of balsam root into a medicine of place that supports my well-being without harvesting. What a joyous relief to become ever more aware of how I dance with plants!
How does the idea of medicine of place resonate with you? How might we grow into people of place?
I'd enjoy hearing your thoughts, experiences or practices that support this idea. Or maybe it could be framed as, "What have plants taught you as you engage them in your journey?"
I invite you to write a brief paragraph below. Let's see where this takes us...