We hear their voices in the moving air as they refresh us and purify the air we breathe. When we forget how to live in harmony, they remind us of the way we were instructed to live as people. Everything we need to live a good life is here on Earth.— Braiding Sweetgrass, by Robin Wall Kimmerer.
The process of writing often feels intimidating to me. How will I be able to express what I feel in words? What if I can’t get my point across? Or worse, what if the essence of what I am sharing about plants is lost in my attempts to share their brilliance?
Despite the fact these questions run through my entire body over and over again as I edit- my commitment to my visions for a better world continuously outweigh any fear I have about sharing in a public space. Equally, I know from lived experience that my silence will not keep me protected from anything worthwhile in this lifetime.
And so for this first offering, I want to share with you a bit more about the goals for this blog. More than anything I desire that as you read my humble (& grounded) offerings you feel an affirmation or an awakening to your own relationship to the earth. That upon reading my entries your invited to pause from your daily to-do’s and go outside to greet the sun, your plants, and let yourself be loved on by the elements. Secondly, I will connect my own reflections on plant life and earth medicine to lessons around Abolition, and the urgency to move our collective and individual actions towards creating a more just and equitable world. I will provide concrete ways we can (re)connect to the earth, i.e. rituals, gardening ideas, and plants to grow that connect us to Abolitionist values. And every so often I will provide examples of Abolitionist projects that highlight healing and transformative justice as strategies towards a world where we are all well and cared for. I want you to feel inspired…especially right now.
I find myself experiencing some grief and sometimes even nearing depressive episodes. I am also feeling some of the deepest hope I have ever felt in my bodies. COVID-19 looming above Los Angeles’ head like the smog used to just a couple of weeks ago. But this pandemic is not the only thing on my mind/heart, a few days ago, yet another young person was killed inside an L.A. county jail. This happens more often than most of us know. State violence is also a pandemic. The array of feelings I feel over these sorts of deaths + now coupled with what is to come to our own city/what is being experienced world wide can feel daunting in moments. Getting out of my home and into fresh air has rebalanced me more than a handful of times already this week. My prayer is that what is happening in our world right now invites more of us back to that which sustains us beyond anything else- the earth and the complete abundance she gives and loves with.
In the past 10 years of studying flowers (plants, and how to regenerate the earth) has helped me rebalance my own psyche, brought me closer to my own Spirits path, and gifted a joy only the colors of the rainbow can give. I look to these personal experiences right now as the entire world community is under quarantine- despite some presidents ignorance and complete lack of care for humanity- most of us know to stay inside. And beyond the physicality of this need, there is the unseen calling of coming into oneself to listen, heal, and as needed course correct. This is our time to listen to communities who have been historically ousted and deprived of care and wellness. This is a time to learn from the flaws of our systems. This is a time to say YES to more of each of ourselves. Yes to love, Yes to care, Yes to interdependence, beyond the crisis moment.
Two earth based Abolitionist practices I am exploring these days:
- As the earth regenerates, she is mirroring to us the regeneration we can also tap into within ourselves and our communities. Take this time to connect to the earth. Plant seeds in your homes and communities. Let these seeds represent what you want to birth for yourself. Gift the earth what no longer serves you; the narratives about who you think you “should be” or the stories you have been fed by faulty systems that have only traumatized you and your peoples- these are the stories, emotions, and harms the earth is calling for us to transmute within her.
- Stay vigilant and Active in the issues you most care about. We need everyone right now. In these moments of rupture that feel chaotic is where we find opportunities to course correct as a world society. What has become obvious to more of us are the flaws of capitalism, the choke hold white supremacy and hetereopatriarchy have had on too many people for far too long, there is no ignoring the veil has been lifted- and I can feel the earth spirits rising exhaling at the opportunities that are in front of us. This is a time to deepen our curiosity about what it means to re-work our systems to serve all of us, and not just a few. Our comfort is not worth the continual denying of human rights for so many.
I will end this (longer than expected) introductory post with an encouragement to connect to these plant allies that remind us of our interconnectivity and collective regeneration. The properties shared below are only a very thin sliver of the abundance of each plant. The purpose of this sharing is to share some highlights of what I personally have learned in my study/apprenticing with them in hopes you will continue your own learning and relationship with them as well.
- The flower essence invites balance in our relationships. Imagine one of your hands holding your own heart while extending the other hand towards a loved one, a friend, a stranger. An invitation to be held in reciprocal relationships at home, at work, in community.
- Medicinally supports the regeneration of our cells and rebuilding of our connective tissue after an injury. This makes me think about us humans being one body- and if this is so, the collective “taking in” of yarrow supports the rebirth we are all undertaking at the moment. a new body is possible.
- Known to be a great “companion” plant, feeding nutrients to the plants around it while healing the earth in which it grows in. It is great for healthy compost as well as can be made into a solution to clear mildew on plants. Ever since I learned these properties of Yarrow this plant has inspired me to be more like it, helpful to those around me, sharing nutrients that will regenerate my friendships and relationships long term. Imagine more of us take on these qualities- leaving the earth healthier than how we inherited her? I love this plant so much.
Briefly, an invitation to learn Borage Flower essence-
- For moving grief out of the body and lineage.
- Flower essences work on etheric realms, heal what is unseen but felt, the things we inherited from our bloodlines that rise to be healed by us. Flowers have the power to heal emotional patterns that no longer serve us. Borage flower sits with you and as a loyal friend would, helps hold the grief so that upon realizing you are not alone, you can begin to release it out of the caves in which it has made home.
with much love.