Returning to Nature…
Many years ago, as a budding Herbalist and seasoned Naturalist, I wrote a letter. This letter was one of urgency. It was a cry for Nature. For our home. The earth. The place to live that we have. The message was to urge a reconnect. A realization of place and what surrounds us each and every moment that we exist. Understanding how the disconnect that we are experiencing on a global scale is affecting our serenity and harmony with nature and our home. I now sit here, in Powell, Wyoming, over a decade after this letter was written. The message is still needing to be heard. Elders are shouting for it. The cry from the Earth is getting louder, and we, as a general whole, are sinking further into the disconnect. My goal is not to be a broken record here. So hear me out…
I feel the pull EVERY single day to what we are creating here at our Farm… it is a piece of land, one that is being reconditioned to hold space in agriculture for this reconnect of human and place. Nature to person. Plant to animal. Individuals to Community. And soul rejoining the spirit. We are indeed completely and perfectly connected to these things already… what is that connect…?
It is Nature…
Always has been, and always will be … we cannot hide from it. Nor smash it away. Because if we continue to do so, we won’t have anything left to do, be or experience.
Here at the Apothecary, our main goal is to bring the People’s Medicine to them. Access to nature through wild and cultivated plants. But, the other component of this goal is the most important. That is to show how each being; plant, animal, fungi, rock, body of water, bird, mountain, tree, insect, and bacteria are all our bothers, and our sisters. These beings are our elders, healers, and story keepers. And we are innately connected through the divine force that holds us all….
Yet again… NATURE.
It was not so long ago that time held us in a place where we knew this simple truth. It was when we worked with the land. The plants in the forest, prairies, and swamps were out place of food, medicine, and connection to something greater than oneself. It was during this time when our First Nations People nomadically crossed these mountain passes, deserts and prairies. Eating with each season while planning quietly for the next. As they did these sacred acts of life giving thanks to the creator and the earth that holds each blessing of life.
Tears flood my eyes as I recall these memories. Though they are not mine necessarily, my body and spirit know them to be. This way life was stolen, ripped from all of us when society deemed these acts of living in harmony with the seasons, unnatural. Fast forward to now, I have to remind myself that our simple life in the country is not the normal. Here we still live with the land and the seasons of the Earth. The sun wakes us and our moon sends us to bed.
In our own modern way, we still live with the old forgotten ways of our ancestors.
The reminders of the modern times however are still all around us. I type this on a computer. With LED lights overhead. We go out to our pastures and trash lines the ditch banks. Oil seeps into the water ways, and stories on the News speak of leaking pipelines… each aspect of this unnatural way has become the normal. But what do these things really mean? It separates us more and more with each component of unnatural…
This new addition of my urging comes in light of Heart Mountain. A peak that we see from our farm. It’s rich history is a perfect example of why this shift in returning to nature is essential. The original name of this stunning mountain was Foretops Father. It was sacred to the Crow People of the Plains Nations. Medicine workers, Warriors, Shamans, and Chiefs would come great distances to be on this mountain. Believing that this is where the Creator would speak through them. Vision quests were frequent here and coming with great respect to the Mountain is when you would be answered. Your path revealed, and solidified. All these immensely important events were before the implementation of the Reservations.
After the First Nations People were confined to certain areas of the land with borders. Foretops Father resided in the 33-million-acre Crow Reservation. Presently, these borders now are confined to 3 million acres, Foretops Father sits 146 miles from the Reservation Borders in Montana.
These stories of Divine Messages are a part of the old ways. They showed the people how nature held us. How the universe provided guidance to our gifts. We now find guidance through technology. Vision quests are obsolete, and phones are a main component of connection. How can we shift when our immediate perceived needs are on a screen we hold in our hands?
I don’t pretend to know these answers. Global scale is daunting to say the least. But starting somewhere is better than not starting at all. We have a sacred story keeper who is sending his own destress signal. Grant Bulltail, a Crow elder who was taught and raised by his Grandfather who lived before there were borders of reservations. He is in his late 70’s and knows that his time is coming to an end. His story is real. It is heart wrenching. This newfound letter comes with a link for you to click to see his story. Wyoming Public Television has broadcasted this story for here, where the old ways still exist, we see the affects greatly.
With blessings, your friend, and YOUR Herbalist,