a journey to river’s bend.

I have been fortunate enough to learn about herbal medicine and the magic of plants from a wonderful teacher, Kami McBride.  This past weekend, our circle of plant sisters drove in from around the Bay Area to the most perfect retreat spot at River’s Bend.

to the river <3.

at river’s bend.

The part I love most about Kami’s classes is that not only do I learn so much about plants and their medicinal uses, but also, I learn about plant spirit and so much about myself.  I can really delve into what’s inside of me, in my heart, in a very safe and comfortable environment.  I can be me and I am held and protected.  We don’t have enough spaces and communities like this in the world.  We need to make them!

delicious purple sage.

delicious purple sage.

in the garden at mary pat palmer's philo school of herbal energetics.

in the garden at mary pat palmer’s philo school of herbal energetics.

bark

beautiful bark texture.

looking up

a glance toward the sky.

One idea that came out of the weekend is that we certainly need a culture shift – to one that is more loving toward humans, plants, and the earth.  One where we see the earth as a living being and treat it with kindness and respect.  In order to do that, we need some of the ‘crazy ones’ that talk to plants and share with the world.  Will that be you?!

plant altar

plant mandala in our sacred space.

garlic

garlic people!

mullein

mullein flowers saying hello.

During our final bit of time in at River’s Bend, we went on a hike through what used to be a lush redwood forest.  It is now mostly tan oak and douglas fir.  (Un-fun fact: did you know only 4% of our redwood forests still stand today?)  I found a family circle of redwoods and sat in a little nest of their dropped and browned leaves.  It was so cozy and protected and I felt so at peace.  I could have stayed there all afternoon (and beyond).  I felt as though the trees were telling me to be strong and they would be there.

st john's wort.

st john’s wort.

When I needed to go, I picked up a dried tan oak leaf and wrote the simple words ‘be strong.’  I placed it in some peeling bark on one of the trunks in the redwood family and kissed them goodbye.  I walked away.  I won’t forget.

(for more images from this beautiful journey (and others!), please visit the ‘through the lens‘ section.)

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