Welcome back to the campfire! Or perhaps you never left, and it’s me who’s returned, since I was hardly unpacked from Pennsic when I found it was time to pack up yet again, this time to head to what my sister has affectionately dubbed “herb camp.” No, I was not off at camp to either recover from or indulge in illicit substances. Rather, I’m lucky enough to be taking part in what is essentially a low-residency program on herbalism. I spent the week with an remarkably amazing group of women, one similarly awesome man, a slew of rockin’ plants both wild and cultivated, a whole bunch of gorgeous meals, and such a bulk of information that my mind is still in the process of absorbing it.
I did, though, feel a little sheepish during the introductory meeting, when several of the other students mentioned that they’d had a deep connection with plants even in childhood. I’ve always loved plants, kind of by default, and I used to garden with my grandmother as a kid. But I was more likely to be found playing with stones on the beach than with sticks in the woods. Plus, I used to be afraid of roots and vines.
Not sure why, though I vividly remember reading a story in which parents planted bean seeds on a child who refused to wash – and they grew on and maybe into his skin. That might have done it.
Luckily, I have since come to terms with the fact that roots have absolutely no desire to eat me and are way more interested in tunneling through the soil and bringing scrumptious nutrients up to the rest of the plant. Because I’ve made a lot of good (and some really goofy) decisions, but signing up for this course might just have been genius. If, as Peter Pan said, “Death will be an awfully big adventure,” there are also some pretty sizable adventures beforehand – and I’m pretty stoked about this one.