May 082018



Spring Tales & Wishes to You – from Wolf

Spring comes early in the wild Gila bioregion of New Mexico, in part due to our location as the furthest southern high-mountain range, and partly as result of global warming. The cottonwoods have long been filled out in their green finery, the riverside willows doing their endearing leaf-dance in the strong canyon winds, even as April saw the first of the season’s wildfires in nearby Arizona and S.E. Colorado. Kiva has been thrilled with the first lilac blossoms we have ever had, and the rich smells of the burgeoning wild grape vines dangling their arms from the branches of host Junipers. Spring here is announced in a flourish of early flowering mustard and returning Phoebes, the Wild Turkey chicks racing to keep up with their foraging flock and the nesting calls of the resident black hawks.  As little time as we have had to stop and enjoy it, it has nonetheless shone like rays of sun through the river-facing windows of our tiny cabin office, and it sings to us like a beckoning bard just outside our doors. Just as I once snuck out of old fashioned screenless school windows to play hookey in the company of suburban dandelions and excited feral dogs, I can feel the urge to bolt. But even stronger, is an obsession with what feels like a rather ancient dream, a vision of meaning and purpose whereby I am fulfilled through a minor but significant bettering of the world, a freeing, aid to a crucial rebecoming, an assist to the ushering in of a healthier paradigm — manifest at this moment in a Confluence of caring hearts and creative oddkins coming together in Durango, in the Animas river valley.

San Juan Mountains, Colorado

It is perhaps the unresolvable tension between the need to be nourished by frivolous joyful explorations and the drive to help others and the planet, that imparts the intensity of every lived moment dedicated to either the relaxing or acting, learning or teaching, purpose or play. I sense each day as a propellant to which I try to lend direction, a springboard from which I leap airborne first in the direction of self pleasing and self care, then towards an impassioned mission and its many prioritized tasks, and then a somersault back to fun and meanders with no obvious practicality, in something I can only hope approaches a balance.

Things speed up exponentially right before each year’s Good Medicine Confluence, and do not begin to slow down until a full month after. While it requires a portion of every day for an entire year, it is now when a zillion details have to be set in order, schedules altered as teachers and attendees report needs and changes. Scholarships have gone out to the most impoverished and enthused, barter and time payments worked out for those requesting help attending, name tags to prepare, and arrangements to be made, the 2018 event book with schedule is at the printers, Amanda Furbee is organizing the work trade helpers, and final letters filled with details have gone out to all the ticket holders, andthe 2019 Confluence website is completely remade and ready to launch in early June!  There are still signs to be printed, and quickly we must pack not only our clothes and baby gear, as well as Plant Healer books layered for protection between Plant Healer shirts for sale, and somehow we must squish it all into the Jeep. In a very few days we will need to transfer it all to a rented van, a reasonable strategy after our Range Rover blew its engine driving to the gathering last time. Our excitement builds, and we see on social media that it is the same for the over 400 others who are also preparing to drive, fly, bus, train, or rideshare in old vehicles, to get to the event where they feel most empowered, accepted, and wildly encouraged… to heal more than just human bodies. Hearts. Spirits. Communities. The natural world that is our medicine and our hope.

As usual, folks are coming from all over, with as many from overseas as from our home state. No matter where we embark from, it is a big and sometimes challenging adventure getting to Colorado, and the route passes over or through some of the most diverse and enchanting landscapes imaginable, from the high deserts and native hogans to the rise and life of the snowcapped Rockies. The culminating view is of the Animas River winding out of the high mountains into the forested valley, a relatively small town dedicated to visiting outdoor enthusiasts and bohemian artists, shouldering meadows of brilliant wildflowers and grazing deer.

Magnificent light before sunset over Gothic.

We will be mostly out of email contact for a couple of weeks, between the event, the post event tasks, and getting some rest. We always counsel the importance of taking care of oneself, and the role that rest plays in cognition and repair… but so hard to follow our own advice. After all, there are 2019 teacher proposals to decide on.  We have to put together a June issue of Herbaria Monthly with herbal articles as well as pictures from the Confluence.  Another Plant Healer Magazine needs lots of attention before its July release. I have to somehow take care of important homestead chores, as we have not yet found candidates for a longterm caretakership position here. We are compiling another Plant Healer book, and Kiva and I are both desirous of time to write more.  And we want to figure out someone to housesit, so that we can take our baby Aelfyn to see and experience new things!

To you all, we wish you more rest than we have gotten, all the excitement and satisfaction we have had, and the friggin’ springboard days that can help launch you towards your purpose and pleasures, possibilities and dreams!

Thank you for feeling so close.

Happy, happy Spring!

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