I Fell in Love with a River
Last week I fell in love with a river.
Seriously, I did.
I journeyed north into the Catskill Mountains to attend a course called “Wisdom of the Divine Natural World” at the Blue Deer Center.
I’d read the book “Plant Spirit Medicine: A Journey Into the Healing Wisdom of Plants” by Eliot Cowan not once, but twice, and was deliciously and serendipitously led to the place where he teaches.
There were trees. Everywhere. And plants growing in every nook and cranny. Wild and free. No pesticides here.
The smell and feel of Nature filled me up.
I walked barefoot in the grass (ticks be damned!), on the muddy path and the slippery rocks.
My city feet were tender but happy. Grounded.
Frogs were croaking in the pond.
There was a teepee and our classroom was in a yurt.
Even the humans were spectacular. My fellow classmates (there were only seven of us) came from far and wide, telling Nature stories that made my life seem so incredibly unadventurous.
We were nurtured and fed delicious healthy food.
We spent hours in silence with the plants. You can’t imagine the information they generously have to offer when you get quiet.
I met Yarrow!
The plant that has been whispering in my ear (“Use me for this! Use me for that!”) but I’d never met in person was growing at the Blue Deer Center.
Thank you to my new friends who helped me find it. It’s a delicate but powerful little beauty. There’s no telling what Yarrow has in store for me now.
But the river. Oh, that river.
The Saskawhihiwine River. It roared over its brown rocks, nestled at the base of the woods, just a hop, skip, and a jump away. Its water was clean and clear and cold. It has quite a history.
It seduced me.
It takes a lot to make me sit still. I get antsy.
But the Saskawhihiwine calmed me right down. Every free moment I had, I ran down there and stuck my feet in the rushing water.
I tried not to think about the bear that someone at the evening fire gathering said had been spotted recently. I have a strange fear of being startled by a bear in the woods.
But it’s not enough to stop me from entering the forest. I love trees too much.
And that river.
I blab a lot about the healing power of Nature. Me, who lives in a dusty tree-deprived urban area.
It couldn’t be more clear to me now.
Walking on the Earth heals.
Being in community heals.
I returned home on Monday and immediately made plans for another weekend Upstate. This time it’s back to the Omega Institute to forage in the woods surrounding the campus.
I have a feeling I’ll be running away a lot this summer. To the woods, to a lake, maybe even back to Ireland or Scotland.
While I wait patiently for guidance where to move, I need to keep refilling my well by spending time in Nature.
I bow down to Mother Earth for all that she so generously gives us, in spite of all that we take from her.
May we all do better to show our love for her.
Here’s a little video peek at the Saskawhihiwine River. Hear her roar as I perched precariously on the mossy rocks. 🙂
AKA She Who Sits With Trees