The Divine Play of Mother – Discovery in Adversity
Not everything in life is a ‘bed of roses’, life happens, death happens, and if we are serious about the spiritual path, then I remember someone saying to me, karma speeds up after initiation and purification takes place and with it—growth and wisdom. Thus, I came to appreciate herbs.
My true interest in herbs began, when my husband was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer—inoperable, untreatable with only 6 months to live. Herbs let him live for 2 years. The garden had always been my husband’s domain, and he hated weeds, but weeds became his extension to living. We needed those weeds he so meticulously banished from the garden, and he documented his journey with cancer in the newsletter for the college where he lectured in Maths, right up till when he died.
After he died, I took to gardening. We have a largish garden, and I recreated it. I planted trees of every variety, made a pond. Then soon after I fainted and fell down a flight of stairs. I broke my back in 4 places and I couldn’t garden for two years. Mercifully, I wasn’t paralysed, but it made me contemplate about all those that find themselves to be so while I was in the hospital. How quickly circumstances can change. The neglected garden turned into a medical food forest. It became full of wild raspberries, wild strawberries, Wood Aven, Dandelions, Burdock, Thistles and so much more, and to my surprise I found the Wood Aven, you could use as a veg. The roots taste like cinnamon, and it had lots of medicinal properties. I realized these were true riches. My garden became diverse, full of wildlife, full of food and full of medicine. Healing begins on our doorstep and nature provides in abundance. That was 12 years ago, and now you can see how it has grown, and it is my haven for meditation.
I felt alive, at peace and my heart was full of joy. There is a wisdom and knowledge that is different to the world’s way of knowledge that leads to destruction rather than life. It is a journey, a path, and we are the clay, being moulded into a vessel fit for purpose. I am ever learning, and I know I have found the pearl of great price and hidden treasure in tending to Mother Nature, letting her surprise me and just ‘tending and keeping what she has grown’. Nature is my dwelling, and she speaks to me. I knew what to do without going to a college. The longer you dwell with her she reveals her hidden depths. So, permaculture, and tending to what has grown, like a return to Eden has become a way of life to me, and I desire no other. Rather than sustainability, we need permeability, working with the Divine and not against her. Mother nature produces in abundance if we let her. I don’t use nets, and the birds, don’t take that much. There is enough for them and me. Pictures are from my back garden, taken by me. The more variety of plants grown, the more insects, which work their own cycle of dealing with predators that attack plants.
The pond is full of frogs. Can you spot the frogs? The pond is brimming with them. It amazed me where they came from. After I finished the pond, it was immediately occupied!
Conventional medicine is made synthetically in a laboratory and can’t be discarded in the rubbish bin or compost but must disposed of in a special way. It pollutes the environment and drugs have been found in drinking water. Oestrogens found in rivers have changed the sex of salmon.
Herbs are easily accessible, they grow around us, they are compostable and do not pollute the environment, and if you have a garden you can grow some. Although, with the disappearance of hedgerows, woodland, habitat and meadows and etc, we are losing vast amounts of wildflowers and herbs. My own experience has taught me, the truly ‘wild’ plant works best.
I don’t hear many people, when they go on about the environment, talk about all the plastic grass, which people are putting down, of which there seems to be more and more of.
People have lost touch with nature, yet being in it, caring for it is healing and puts you in touch with the Divine.
My own journey has taught me that the environment we live in should be just as synergistic.
The use of herbs has been around for thousands of years; therefore, a cumulative experience of their use is well established. Different cultures have their own herbal medicine and sometimes the same herb is used differently across cultures, for e.g.
The Egyptian Embers papyrus 1500BC record’s it’s use for burns and to help induce childbirth.
The Greeks used it to stimulate the flow of breast milk, in Libya and Erithrea, the seeds are eaten to gain weight, whilst the Yemenites use it to reduce blood sugar. People in the Middle East use it as a vegetarian high protein main dish.
The Egyptians used it as a component of Kuphi, incense of fumigating and embalming.
In India the seeds are powdered and used as a substitute for cod liver oil, and used to treat scrofula, anaemia, gout, diabetes and debility. In Ayurvedic medicine, Methika, a laxative and alleviator of all three doshas, vata, pitta and kapha.
I love to sit and meditate under the trees, and listen to the sounds of the birds singing.