Fall is the season of ‘the cutting away’, a poignant time to celebrate the deepening darkness as we turn inward. I think the powers of the goddess are strongest at this time of year… I wrote this wistful poem in celebration of Autumn as I am experiencing it this year… perhaps the personal reflection that follows is the kind of thinking that is capable of opening a door to a new way of perceiving?
stains the maples
beech hay ferns too
a deeper glow
scarlet sears a leaf
salmon rose blurs…
fir balsam hemlock
soak in drops
Continue reading “Grief Overshadows Joy by Sara Wright”
Women’s relationship with plants stretches back to the beginning of humankind. Most of us know that women invented agriculture and became the first healers.
I come from a family of women who all had gardens, but no one grew herbs. It interests me in retrospect how I turned to these healing plants. I first used them for culinary purposes as a young mother; but as I approached midlife (mid –thirties) I began to gather herbs for medicinal purposes. I realize now that I made this shift just as I began to embrace the goddess and the Earth body as my mother and turned inward to healing myself. The two were definitely connected. It is the Body of the Earth that is capable of healing our broken souls and bodies; and some wise unconscious part of me knew that. Continue reading “Herb Talk: Bee Balm by Sara Wright”
It is past “midsummer” and we are moving into the hottest time of the year without a drop of nourishing, healing rain… When I walk around outdoors I find myself focusing on the many different ferns that grace the forest edges – ferns that hold in precious moisture creating damp places for toads and frogs to hide, places for young trees to sprout, places for the grouse and turkey to hide their nestlings, ferns whose lacy fronds bow low as if in in prayer. Sweet fern covers the hill above and around the brook.
The Ostrich ferns are giant bouquets that sprout up around Trillium rock shielding tender wildflower roots. Maidenhair is being devoured by insects, sadly, the only fern having difficulty here. New York ferns are stiff with ladder like fronds and the few cultivars provide soft shades of dark red, blue and green. Along my woodland paths the tall pale green bracken stalks have to be pulled although I leave all that I can around the edges to protect the mosses. All the ferns are forever unfurling in a state of becoming, spiral gifts for any discerning eye. Continue reading “Midsummer Meditation by Sara Wright”
Scientist Susan Simard is a professor of forest ecology at the University in Vancouver, British Columbia, who has been studying the below-ground fungal networks that connect trees and facilitate underground inter-tree communication and interaction. Over a period of more than thirty years this field scientist and her students have learned how fungi networks move water, carbon and nutrients such as nitrogen between and among trees as well as across species. Her research has demonstrated that these complex, symbiotic networks in our forests — at the hub of which stand what she calls the “mother trees” — mimic our own neural and social networks. This groundbreaking work on symbiotic plant communication has far-reaching implications that include developing sustainable ways to ‘manage’ forests, and to improve tree and plant resistance to pathogens. Although much of Simard’s research occurs in forests, she has also studied the underground systems of grasslands, wetlands, tundra and alpine ecosystems.
Under our feet there is a whole world of biological pathways that connect trees and allow them to communicate and share resources and information. Other scientists who study these networks (like Dr. Merlin Sheldrake) agree with Susan who suggests that the forest behaves as though it’s a single cohesive organism. Continue reading “Tree Talk: Dr. Susan Simard by Sara Wright”