This year’s Colorado spring has been wonky (not that wonky springs are unusual here), we’ve had more snow than rain and a less than usual amount of sunshine. It’s been downright cold and dreary = S.A.D., especially when I my healthcare plan includes playing in the dirt and wondering around in the hills. I have been able to snatch a momentary hike and gather some dandelions, but April was a doozy!
The GOOD news is that today I got a whole hour at Eastside Garden; a groovy community garden I am privileged to co-lead (but more about that another time). Mostly, day 1 (and 2, 3, 4…) is about cleaning up the from the fall and waking up the soil, but I was greeted by dandelions galore with a bounty of bees, gorgeous green rue, and a seasons-old purple sage plant that has doubled in size! Not to mention all the calendula babies that will no doubt bring brilliance. The overwintered collards (reminding me how we make it through) and happy onions tell of unending providence.
But, with all those ancient medicines to ground me and, along with the soil, provide some much needed energetic cleansing, there were challenges. I had to pull away detritus, tangled under-growing weeds, and dead heads. In the soil, stones clanged against my pickax and it rattled through my bones. My body didn’t immediately remember the proper mechanics. My knees weren’t used to the pebbles, my back muscles twinged (as if they have been neglected all winter), I sneezed a lot, and sweated more. I tell you what, though…when I stood up from the dirt-play, my head was clear and the petty, irreconcilables were reconciled or, at least, on their way.
I understand why people shy away from healing work – it ain’t easy and it ain’t always pretty. My teacher would tell me, “That’s why the butterfly has a cocoon.” In my world, the plants are aromatic and pretty…but they can be bitter, make you sweat, make you shit, spit up that 20 yr old mucus hiding deep in your bronchioles, belch or fart (don’t be scared, most of the time none of these are very dramatic…well, maybe the mucus). They require a little more from us, a little more commitment and for our bodies to come into comeback together from their segmentation. They require that we get back into our bodies and into our lives. They tell us, “No matter how uncomfortable it feels, you don’t have to do it alone and the journey is beautiful.”