Seven months of Plant Mentorship... opening to a greater communication wth the benevolent and hugely life giving presence with plants... it was a spontaneous choice and I was, as ever, in at the last minute without too much consideration.
I saw the announcement two days before the course began, immediately signed up and then took in the requisites. It seems pretty clear to me that my body chose this course! There was such rapidity in the choice.
It's been quite a few years since I was living with land and plants and garden and wild woolly walks in all seasons... life was a constant contact with many plants and so many aspects of living nature. The truth is that it's been too long.
I have in recent months become a longing one rather than an engaging one. I was missing the garden. Missing the trees and the river and the regular choice to sleep out under the stars that was often possible when the plants were so close...
The distance between me and that kind of living has become uncomfortably long and the love song that I find there is way too much in the background...
When a singer of songs forgets to sing except from the remembering it's time for a change.
So to the heart I must go!
What makes my heart sing?
Plants make my heart sing.
They are fluent in their communications and so generous! Generous with their medicine and generous with their inspiration and gifts. This may surprise many but they are also generous with words... I have been many times blessed with encounters so flowing and splendid that I could barely keep up as characters and inspirations, downloads of information and moving gestures would unfold in the space on the paper or the 'song' that was being told.
So now, I enter anew into a different space, a new invitation, and I have asked another woman who lives as love for the plants and their consciousness, to lead and guide the way.... to have a shape creating container for this particularly unwieldy and sprawly being who loves to wander out into the wider field at will is a fabulous idea!
I welcome the breadth and the change that she, this mentor and guide, will bring to me as I begin here on northern English soil and then head to Portugal, Ireland and Scotland over these next months.
A plant a week!
One each week to come to know a little, to open towards from a heartspace and allow us both to breathe together and meet in the energies, the space in between...
One a week to aproach as and with a question and an invitation and a willingness to perceive and receive what the plant is open and willing to convey and communicate to me.
One a week:-)
This is homework that makes my heart sing!!
It will go like ths initially - in simple terms I use words to convey the meeting but in truth it's more like an energetic exchange ... and as two beings who are new to each other it is only polite to be clear...
"Hello dear plant. I am Heather. Can we be together a while and would you be willing to show me your medicine gifts?"
So there we are heading to the moors through weather that looked like the clouds would fall on my head...we're off to do some forging work (not foraging, but forging...) and realise that I have come singularly unprepared for the other project... Foraging!!
We drive onto the land where the forge is and park the van with a speedy stop literally into a confusion of long leggy branches all aplomb with GIANT catkins!! Oh my giddy gorgeousness! This is too much to miss! I immediately reach out to the branch and have my face caress the furry and firm grey blooms. Delicious and sensual contact with these magical beings! They are plump, pregnant and bursting with the joys of spring and lo and behold the weather has turned and we are in full throttle sun!
There in the echo of my adoration comes my mentor's quiet words... notice which plant pops up and offers itself... that will be the one to be with.
So it's clear! We have begun!
No pencil, no pen, no paper to speak of
grumble to self... bummer... not a great way to start my entering into a sacred space and have communications ...
but rummage around in unknown spaces for long enough and one surely finds what is required, especially when one's body is in full frontal desire!!
I settle ... close to an extending branch and we touch each other, long lean willowy branch and I... I close my eyes and soft breathe a little,
a meeting of bodies and etheric as we come together ... we created a quiet place together with the breeze, one that lifted me wholly and quite quickly to this -
As soon as I touch her long leggy lengths
a wave of surrender moves through me
and points to a mystery longly not met
that the longer is stronger
and movement is strength
Come withering, new shoots will transpose
the language unfolding of grace in her pose
This lady's for movement unfurling and deft
like a soft glowing breeze through the airways
This one speaks in prose and brings to me the qualities of movement, of length, of air and grace. So much here conveyed and so lightly the touch...
Notes I had written whilst getting to know each other a little - aware of my ribcage and a little tightness as well as in back of throat a congealed lump...
now some yawns as I greet thee. And then along comes my friend, J, a joy of tears and gratitude as she speaks of a moment recently shared.. "take care of one's self first so that we may be available for others"...was this also a gift being shared from dear willow?
I observed that on each of the long lengths of branches there were many nodules not opened, where the life force had passed the nodule by and headed toward the ends...as though those that had been passed by had sacrificed themselves for the energies to go towards the very ends...I looked all over in search of leaves and as yet there were little until I found at the very end f the branch in my own hand a small cluster of dynamic, small green leafy ones with so much potency thrust into that tiny fleur de lys shape that I was reminded of a burst forth expression, like an ejaculation of life force! There in my hand were the only leaves to be seen!
Time passes so easily in this space of communion with tree...
Some more of what I wrote -
This one is the first of my plant songs for ages and I notice a hunger and joy that has my heart glee!
I wander about a little with my gaze and take in the comfrey ground cover, fallen catkins galore, with sticks from previous weeks littering the floor... thickly scattered with yellow pollens rising ...
I gaze to the shaggy variety, next one along, to see bee that is bumble on winds of a song of these long haired catkins with full flowering throng!
I look up to the tangle of many branches filled with the grey silver buds that are filling my face with a smile wide and loved!
Note to self for the next seven month or seventy years of my life...always have your plant spirit and communicating wherewithall kit handy.
A ground mat
A well equipped pencil case - delicious selection for pencil and stationery addicts like me
A notebook - one that I enjoy writing and drawing on with a good hard back cover
My opinel knife - (don't forget to remove from on board baggage before flying Heather)
A couple of cloth bags, small, to carry individual flowers, leaves, stems of plant if plant gifts itself for making medicine such as tea or elixir, smudge or other...
Something sweet to offer ... a singing bowl or singing bells, local honey, a song
Camera or phone for photos - switched to airplane mode
Phone app that gives plant identification for later notes
A heart full of gratitude and a prayer of recognition for whatever language is required in any instance
All made happy in a very cool light weight all weather bag