Hearts and Herbs
There is a place in the world where people gather to learn from their elders. Where people sit and connect with the earth, the plants, with the spirit of their ancestors. Where people talk about how to heal the world around them. It’s called an herb festival.
To describe an herb festival as a collection of hippies and the young bohemian and boots crowd, would be correct. But there’s also botanists, gardeners, crafters, lesbians, social activists, African priestesses, Latin American shamans, Mexican folk healers, ministers, social workers, teachers, hip hop artists and a host of people looking for ceremony, connection, and healing. It’s a powerhouse of people trying to do good in the world. It’s also a lot of salad lovers.
I highly suggest you find a way to spend some time with these people. They offer a kind of sustenance that is rarely available in our harried world.
I attended the Moonflower Herb Festival this weekend in Austin, TX. As one teacher began to teach a class on the heart, he asked us to take off our shoes, feel the grass under our feet and be still. Who does that before they teach? When are we outside as we learn? He reminded us to be practical and grounded as we listened- that having a good breakfast was just as important as prayer or chants – that the body and mind and spirit are all 1 thing -that someone with a great heart is perhaps someone who can stay connected to their integrity even under great stress – that tapping into ours hearts to figure out what’s best for us is a life’s work.
A life’s work.
Settling into your heart is how you find your wisdom when our culture has a way of overrunning it.
Abundance lives in your heart, as does vital force, sympathy, tenderness, faith. Also, a kind of warrior force lives here- a wisdom that KNOWS when something is not appropriate. Like your brain and gut, your heart also knows. It speaks through steadiness or agitation, but it speaks.
So, take your shoes off and be still. Perhaps this is how it will begin for you.
Be still and listen.
And then find yourself some violets. Did you know that violets are edible?