Summer Reflections

Autumn begins in two weeks, and I blow a kiss to my treasured summer days. I shake off the urge to cling to the bounty of sun and the lush harvest in my garden. Instead, I will tuck my summer memories in my pocket and take them out during the cold and dark of winter. They will glow like gemstones held up to the light of a warm fire.

The crown jewel of this summer was the return of our in-person event, the BotanicWise Women’s Herbal Gathering.

I remember our first Gathering, held at my farm in Pennsylvania eleven years ago. Under the tents, in the too-long dew-laden grass, I gave the opening remarks with my squirming toddler daughter, Mara, in my arms. This year, it was an emotional moment for me when this girl-almost-a-woman, now taller than me, opened the event, welcoming everyone and introducing me.

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Watching her grow and blossom into a young, confident woman – full of joy, passionate and protective of this sacred planet, and comfortable with who she is – this is what fills my heart and gives meaning to my every day.

Hosting Rosita Arvigo at my home before, during, and after the event was another treasure. At 81, this strong, wise woman jigged circles around me. When I leaned forward to grab her suitcase, she’d say, “I got it, babe!” When I left the house to help the team set up tents, tables, and chairs, she made a big pot of the most delicious marinara sauce which we enjoyed over spaghetti squash from my garden, with a liberal sprinkling of parmesan.

Most of all, I soaked up her every word. “I’ve eaten a lot of beans,” she says, referring to her decades of life experience.

In her keynote address, Healing the Healers, she spoke of the three “i’s” – intuition, intention, and intelligence.

“Intention, when we combine it with intuition and intelligence, is one of the most powerful combinations of human attributes.”

In other words, when we want to achieve something and really make a difference, working from what we feel combined with what we know has a powerful effect. Listen with your heart and let your head do the legwork.

As a healer and herbalist, she continues, “You are bound to a lifetime of study. You will never be finished, and you will always feel inadequate. Mm-hmm.” She nods her head knowingly. “Even though you spend your life studying and healing, you will always feel inadequate. That is a gift from spirit – to encourage you to keep at it.”

By the weekend’s closing circle, I did feel encouraged to keep at it.

Spending time with friends I haven’t hugged in three years…
And finally meeting friends who I have who I’ve only known on Zoom…
I felt embraced… supported… loved. And totally immersed in my life’s purpose.

With the “Back-to-School” vibe in the air, I turn to my lifelong journey of learning and sharing with others ready to learn. The BotanicWise Team is cooking up a smorgasbord of opportunities to learn and share the sense of community with you. Here are just a few things around the corner:

September 14 – Book Club: Finding the Mother Tree by Suzanne Simard 

September 21 – Community Film Screening: Juliette of the Herbs

September 30 – BotanicWise Community Meet Up with AC Stauble

October 1 – Virtual Workshop: Yoga and Plant Healing with Alex Artymiak

October 25 – Brain Health Webinar with Guido Masé

November-December – New! Natural Brain Care: An Herbalist’s Perspective with Guido Masé

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