Our earth mother is waking up and slowly so are the many lives within her soil. This is one of my favorite times of the year. The cycle ebbs and flows with renewed energy after a deep and restful winter sleep. It’s still very early spring here in the land of central IL so many of our bees and other helpers are still getting ready to wake up just beneath the leaves and other shelters. As exciting as the return of warmth can be, it’s important to allow them to awaken in their own time before starting any gardening work.
While we’re waiting, let’s explore some thoughts about plants together. The thoughts shared here are my own at this moment and are based on personal experience so far in this journey. As I learn more (there is always more to learn) then this may change.
Plants are sentient as is the land, the life our earth sustains on it, even our sky, sun, and stars. We are all connected intimately, with each other and the greater universe. Because I believe plants are sentient and sacred, gardening is a spiritual experience for me. It is a chance to connect with the spirit of the plants that share their medicine while also strengthening a relationship with the greater universe. It is a time of reflection, gratitude, and conversation, an opportunity to experience a small part of the wonder of life.
Some of our sacred plants are becoming overharvested for many reasons. Some of it is due to the commercialization of pop culture’s version of spiritual trends, some due to nothing more than greed. If you feel called to use sacred plants as a part of your personal practices, let’s change that together by taking small steps to help restore balance.
We can do this by learning about the land we live on and what its native plants are. Then do some research to determine which ones offer the energetic properties you seek to connect with and what their growing preferences are. You can grow them or identify a local resource that ethically grows and harvests the plants.
Learning about the land you live on can be a healing, restorative and wonderful experience. Many of us spend so much time in front of screens or indoors. Your local forest or nature preserve can be a great place to begin learning the history and ecology of the land. Mindfully exploring the land near you can help you get to know its spirit, and the life it supports and over time you’ll be able to view its ever-changing tapestry. As you explore, know that you are a part of it just as it is a part of you.
Growing your own sacred medicine based on your relationship with the land offers an opportunity to mindfully share in the dance of our earth’s cycles. Each seed is nurtured and in turn, it grows new life that may nurture you even long after its growth cycle is complete. My own practice includes speaking with each one and meditating with them to deepen our connection. When you need to harvest the gift of their medicine, be sure to ask their permission first. Listen from the heart and trust your intuition. You’ll know if it’s time or if it is best to wait.
Sharing this kind of relationship based on humility, trust, respect, and love helps restore the land we share and ensures that resources continue to be available for those who will come long after our journey is complete. Below are a few of my early risers showing their eagerness to enjoy the new season.