A deep bow of thanks to the wonderful group of folks who joined us on last night's Edible + Medicinal Plant Walk. It is part of my daily practice to wander through the alleyways and city streets at dusk, following the subtle pull of the flowers, fruits, and feral things which wish to find me. To invite others into this space of curiosity and nourishment is such a gift. As we bask in the quiet presence of each plant ally, I have the distinct honor and opportunity to share the stories and the medicine they have so graciously offered to me and to my community over the years.
My teacher says -- the way to make peace in the world is to know where you are. And for me, this begins with the Plants. By orienting ourselves to the Seasons and Cycles of the green and growing world around us, we come to locate ourselves more tangibly within the wider web of the world.
Remaining true to my belief that by creating space to simply wander, we will be met by the medicines we need most -- I took the group on a last minute detour down an alleyway filled mostly with Beggar's Lice and Turk's Cap, of which we'd already spoken. Nearing the ally's end and still uncertain of who or what had drawn us down this path, I remembered the enchanting Four O Clocks that had left me intoxicated by their scent earlier in the week.
I gathered the group before the flowers and explained that I knew nothing about them, other than their name and that they were beautiful and sweet smelling. But wasn't that enough? I don't believe that plants or people should be measured by their usefulness or functionality alone. For that, to me, is missing the point of life completely. It is beauty, and novelty, and delight which feed the Holy best, and which act as the animating force of all things. To take people on a plant walk, without acknowledging pleasure as primary, seems cruel. For the time spent in relationship and connection with the plants IS the medicine. The final plant of the evening held no utility as far as I knew -- she was not edible or and I knew nothing of her medicinal value, but her presence alone was healing and good. And that was more than enough.