I get this intense feeling of home sickness sometimes. On the surface, i am as home as i can be- in my apartment with my little family, in the town i grew up in, literally, i can peer out my window and see the place where all of my siblings and cousins, even my parents, aunts and uncles were born. But there’s this undeniable feeling that comes regularly, and the only remedy is to be outside near the plants, ocean, trees, away from walls, cars, and pavement.
The soothing balm of just touching and smelling plants can be the best remedy for feeling in doubt, confused, ungrounded, pained, angry, frustrated. When i feel these ways, I gather medicine for a cup of tea.
Some conifer needles, windfallen lichen, a pinch of nettle, maybe ill take home a red-belted conk from a fallen tree- you’ve got to be particular of where and how you harvest conks. They take a long time to grow, thier medicine is special, a dandelion head, a yarrow leaf. Each plant, fungus, lichen, resin represents something I’m needing and each one brings something bigger than the healing constituents they hold. Each one I have grown relationships with, and just like relationships with people or animals, they shift constantly and are continuously offering lessons.
I gather these things, make myself a “wild tea” and feel much better, like being home again. Simple acts like this is why I’m a “hedge witch”, folk herbalist, “weed wife”. The unique relationships I have with each plant spied in grassy areas, forests, on hillsides, the ones growing in gardens or popping up between cracks in cities- thier presence equally as powerful to me as thier medicinal properties. ::
This feeling of homesickness, the act of preparing medicine, looking at a plant and feeling them the way you would a friend or family member, are reminders to me of my own “wild” — how that word- the way we use it, in this language, as a signifier of the other, is a wholly colonial concept. The same with the word “nature”, it’s a word for separation, standing between us and our true home. ::
In our gardens, at the edge of the woods, wild greens are growing, native medicinals thrive, the wind is always blowing, the birds are spreading seeds, we are home on the earth and in our own wild bodies, there’s no actual boundary.