Story: Gathering Herbs
Another Story about my childhood spent with Grandfather teaching me the Old Ways
Date: 11/23/2011 7:23:57 PM ( 28 mon ) ... viewed 1144 times
When I was a child, I spent a lot of time with my Grandfather at his farm. Often during the year, he would say that it was time to collect herbs. It would often be at a time when something in the weather changed, or maybe the winds kicked up, or died down, or something that told him it was time to get a certain herb. In the morning, after the chores were done, he would tell me to pack up a small lunch, a canteen of water, and a bunch of cornmeal wrapped in a cloth. We would then walk out past the barn and stop. There he would face the far woods and say something like:
"Oh, Great Mother, here we are two-leggeds crying.
We are in need of (name of herb or herbs).
We are in need of healing of (name of herb or herbs).
We ask for ourselves and the people who may come for healing.
We come with offerings.
We will not be greedy.
We come humbly.
Please help us and show us the give-away.
(This means the plants who are willing to be taken)."
Then we would walk off into the woods, or in whatever direction he was led. Naturally he already knew where the best places were for the herbs to grow, but he would play with me to see if I could find them. After some time, he would stop and have me listen to the birds, listen to the trees. He would ask me which way we should go. I would listen, and then point where I thought I was being told to go. Sometimes he would agree, and sometimes, he would ask me to listen closer as he thought we needed to go in some other direction.
Sooner or later we would come to a spot where the herbs were growing. He would point out the herb, how it grew, what it looked like, and its name. He would have me admire its beauty, its surroundings. He would name what parts were good for what problem. He would then look over the many plants growing there and ask for some to give away their life so that we might have medicine for ourselves and those who might come for healing. He would then be drawn to those plants. He would carefully take the plants and offer cornmeal and water to the area and all the plants there, and thank them for the give away. He would never take many from the spot as he told me that we need to leave more so they might grow again and when we needed them they would be there for us.
As we went about gathering the herbs we needed, we would stop and eat our little lunch, making sure we left plenty of crumbs for the birds or little bugs that were there. After we had collected all the herbs we needed,
we would thank all the beings in the forest and head on home. At home, Grandfather would then fix them so they would dry and be ready for use.
More Stories about my Childhood with Grandfather:
NEW! Blueberry Time http://curezone.com/blogs/fm.asp?i=1944751
Making Maple Syrup: http://curezone.com/blogs/fm.asp?i=1815117
Spring Song: http://curezone.com/blogs/fm.asp?i=1779014
Companion Piece to this story is my poem
"Corn Song": http://curezone.com/blogs/fm.asp?i=1788262
The Five Stones: Grandfather teaches me about the Five Stones of Living http://curezone.com/blogs/fm.asp?i=1742716
The Give Away: http://curezone.com/blogs/fm.asp?i=1707146
Ordinary Day: http://curezone.com/blogs/fm.asp?i=1661612
Grandfather teaches me about being grateful for each day and the "ordinary" things of life.
Grandfather and the Breezes: http://curezone.com/blogs/fm.asp?i=1625807
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