Once, in a dream, the voice of one of my teachers at Rudolf Steiner College said, “Working with the earth will heal you.” This echoes around my life, and I have found it to be true. Who I am is a woman with a deep and profound connection to nature. I was a child of the 70’s growing up rafting, cycling, running, hiking, and swimming along the American River in Fair Oaks, California. My sense of myself, and my sense of place in the world is deeply connected to the nature of this river. Every time I would return home from time away I felt I was actually home when I went down to the river and connected, grounded there, especially with the smell of the water and the herbs, particularly the fennel.
The smell of the fresh cold High Sierra water cruising by on its way to San Francisco Bay, the sweet smell of the herbs that grow all around...miner’s lettuce, chickweed, horehound, mugwort, nettle, elder, plantain, dock, cleavers, wild oats, thistle, mullein, dandelion, yarrow, and oh so many more, gave me the comforting feeling of being home. I also felt this when experiencing the slippery clay banks, seeing the sparkly pyrite beaches, feeling the cold crystal water, climbing bumpy mounds of slag left over from the gold mining days, spotting great blue herons in their old man look, and the bright white egrets slyly fishing with long golden beaks, the fall return of the salmon from the north to lay their pink eggs in the very place where they themselves were born- and then die, the gorgeous pipevine swallowtails heralding the spring, the massive shady canopy of oak trees cooling me in the summer heat, and the tangled blackberries below them with juicy fruit for pies.
I could go on and on. It owns me, this place. It is inside of me, part of me, imprinted on me. This is a sense in which the care of a place deeply takes hold, moves the heart to feel a meaningful relationship, inspires the feet to walk in reverence, and the hands to wildcraft with care, dedication, and gratitude. I am honored to make medicine in the place I feel so strongly identified. This place has been a healing place for me. May I also be of benefit to it. I believe in this relationship in which the people and the land are good medicine for each other.
My formal studies began with Christopher Hobbs in Santa Cruz, California, in the late 80’s. More recently, I completed 400 certified hours of herbal studies with Kami McBride, at Living Awareness Institute, in Marin County. I continue self-initiated study of herbalism as well as Biodynamics (BD) with Harald Hoven at Raphael Garden in Fair Oaks. I have very recently begun to study the ancient art of alchemy with Dennis Klocek at The Coros institute.
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