Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Love and Beauty at My Doorstep

The Journey of the Rose
A Shamanic Herbal Tale in 3 parts ~ Part I
I am looking forward to the blooming of the wild roses this year. Each day making my way down into the yard to “check on them”. We have lived here on this land for just over three years. When we moved here in December of 2004, I remember one of the first things we did was to walk down into the wetland area. My husband was on this trek to “claim” the land he had chosen to steward. I was in search of plants. Who lives here? I saw the thickets of thorny bushes, but I didn’t yet know for sure they were roses.

Around 8 years ago, I discovered a magical place on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington where there are acres and acres of wild roses. I began to travel to this place to harvest the blooms in May/June and then the wild rose hips in October. Year after year I would make this pilgrimage to commune with rose. Wildcrafting wild rose blossoms is bewitching.

It begins like any other wildcrafting task..... asking, listening, thanking, plucking the blooms, sniffing here and there, tasting. But then as I continue, I find myself entering another world. Soon I am mesmerized by this thorny priestess; I am inside the realm of love and beauty. Peace abounds in this space. Loving myself is simple. Wild Rose tells me tales of how to love, who to love and how to teach love. This sacred space that beckons me, welcomes me is difficult to leave. It is soon time for me to stop harvesting so that I may get to the ferry before the last boat. Wild rose is saying pick me, pick me, more and more. I am pulling myself away from her, telling her I will return in fall to harvest her hips. I discover that even after I leave this space between the world, I can still travel there in feelings and sensations.

As spring came ‘round, our first spring here at our farm, I discovered the wild roses...still doubt sets in about whether it could possibly be true that I had chosen to live the rest of my life surrounded by this sorcière couverture. I made plans to travel to the Peninsula to harvest once again my beautiful blossoms. I returned to the spot where the wild roses spoke so loudly to me, seeking that feeling, craving the realm, hungry for it. The wild roses did speak loudly to me then and startled me. “What are you doing here?” they yelled. “You have roses on your land to harvest? You can harvest a few petals here and then you must return to your home and begin your journey there with wild rose.” I was heart broken or might I say that my heart was broken open at that moment. I realized that up until this time, I had to go seeking for love and beauty, I had to leave home to find it. Now I am being called to a simpler and yet more difficult task, to find love and beauty at my door step.

This year, I am restless to discover what wild rose will teach me. Her subtly, fragrant green leaves have already taken me in. Within her wise teachings, there is more difficulty in peeling away layers, in finding more love for myself and there is also laughter and singing to come.

May it be in Beauty.

Come join us for...
The Journey of the Rose ~ Weekend Immersion in Shamanic Herbalism
June 13-15 ~ Amongst the blooming wild roses at our farm on Whidbey Island
Visit our website for detailed information and to register and email us anytime.

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