Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Medicine of the People

Photos by Rosalee de la ForĂȘt
Last week I returned from a most magical weekend in the Coconino Forest of Arizona. The reason? The Traditions in Western Herbalism Conference, now renamed Medicine of the People: an Herbal Resurgence. Amazing people come together from all over the country to learn together, dance, sing and most importantly to connect with others in the growing herbal community. This is a gathering that is about reviving and enlivening the spirit of Western Herbalism, connecting with your bio-region and the plants. I keep describing the event as a folk western hippie revival!

I came home feeling exhausted and full. I took many wonderful classes and got to know some of the teachers better. In many ways my appetite for knowledge is never sated, but this year it wasn't the classes that held my attention, it was the people. I spent time going on walks, talking about interesting client cases, herbs, the work other people are doing in the world. I learned the voices to accompany the words I read on blogs. Building friendships in person is one of the things I love most about this gathering and one of the things that keeps me coming back.

We also held up an ATM because we were in the old west.
I also got to thinking about my bio-region and all the herbs that I can harvest and share this fall. I need good reminders to go out and gather medicines and people to share them with. I forget sometimes how many useful plants I have available to me in Maryland. It's funny how I have to go far away to really see what I have here.