Our latest freebie edible plant hike adventure began when I saw an advertisement in the newspaper that read something like this:
–Take a nature hike and learn how to identify edible plants. Weather permitting. Call “T” to make reservations.
Thinking this was something my family would find interesting, I asked my youngest daughters, “Would you like to take an edible plant hike?”
It seemed a cool and stylish Bohemian thing to do. Also, I thought my inner hippy chick may emerge afterwards and I would wake up one morning with long gray hair and find myself collecting and drying herbs. Besides, it seemed like a good skill to learn.
My daughters understood what I meant by “edible plant hike”, and answered yes.
“Okay“, I said, “it‘s on Friday. I‘ll ask Dad if he wants to go.” He did.
First to arrive at the nature trail on Friday, we were soon joined by an oriental woman and middle-aged man. As I watched a small crowd coming up the hill, I immediately identified our tour guide as either the guy with the ponytail or the long gray beard. Right, on both accounts. The pony tailed man introduced himself as our guide,
and the bearded man, his assistant.
Recognizing these two as the herbalists was a no-brainer. Old hippies are known for making their living in non-conformist occupations.
As we walked along the nature trail, “T” pointed out various plants and explained the medicinal uses for them.
…this one is good for cleansing the liver, this one balances your moods, and this one kills bacteria in the body and so on.
With all of the natural healing plants available, I couldn’t help but feel guilty when I took the penicillin tablets for the abscessed tooth for which I was afflicted.
When the opportunity arose, I asked “T” his opinion of how he thought the first people to use curative plants came to identify which ones were effective for healing as opposed to which were toxic. He said that he believed early users of medicinal plants relied on their higher selves to guide them in the right direction. He then pointed down the road telling me of a spot with high energy that I could use for meditation and vision quests.
“My daughter would like to go on a vision quest one day,“ I said.
Afterwards, I thought of a Little House on the Prairie episode where Laura Ingalls spent the day on a mountaintop searching for God and praying. If one is commanded to be still and know God, I would say that communing with nature in the mountains is a great way to facilitate that.
As we walked along, I mingled with others of like mind. I was told that years ago when “T” first started his healing hikes, some members of the Christian community had torn down his event flyers because they believed he was working with the devil.
How judgmental and sanctimonious! I wondered how they would feel if someone tore down their posters for Christian music venues because they thought the music sounded like hell. Why would God create plants with natural healing properties if he did not want us to use them? Pray tell. Does this fall under the category of temptation and free will?
Also, shouldn’t we all, regardless of religion or faith, practice the Golden Rule and treat others the way we want to be treated?
I would love to say that I learned a lot about healing herbs, but the thunderous din of rapids in the river drowned out much of the talk. What I was reminded of, however, is that abundance is all around us if we simply open our eyes and look for it. Also, I am happy to be open minded enough to entertain the thought of using other healing methods aside from those of the established medical community.
This book may be worth a look.