Nov 142008

It’s been one of those weeks, folks. Filled with visitors, stomach bugs, weird accidents and monumental amounts of food preserving. Thus, I am behind. If you’re waiting for a package, email, lesson or phone call, I swear I’m getting there. My own immune system has been tottering on the brink of overtiredness and I’ve been forced to draw inward a bit to focus on myself and my family. Everyone seems to be recovering at this point, and I can actually think clearly today so hopefully it’s all on the upswing again.

Worst of it all was poor Rhiannon having a heavy mug shatter on her head in the middle of the night (precariously balanced on a treehouse shelf against the admonishments of her parents, I might add), which resulted in a significant slice above her left temple and a whole lot of blood. Considering how very rare any accidents (even scraped knees or bruises) have been for her in her wild eight years of life, I was quite shocked to open the cabin door and find her with blood matting in her hair and a terrified look on her face. The cut was far from deadly or even dangerous, but gory enough to scare her into a panic. Which made it that much more impressive that she knew just what to do. She washed the wound, took a good look at it, smoothed her hair out of the way (a painful prospect when your hair is actually attached to the ripped flesh) and then smeared it full of Larrea salve. She screamed and yelled in pain while she put the salve on, but the pain (as well as the blood) stopped within minutes of application. Besides the fact that she got the green, strong smelling ointment from one end of her head to the other, I couldn’t have done better myself.

She was shaky and pale so I kept her up for a while to watch her (to rule out a concussion), and then dosed her with Lavender and Tulsi when I was sure she was really ok, and then bundled her off to bed. I’ve let her take care of its healing herself except for daily checkups, and she’s done a great job of keeping clean and salved up. It’s totally painless at this point and knitting together neatly. She’s also been a huge help even while recovering from a painful bout of stomach flu.

When a guest was recently stubbed his toe and cut it in the process, Rhiannon was quick to show him how to make a spit poultice an then carefully bandaged it for him with the poultice and some tape. It quit hurting quickly and healed up nicely. It’s a sweet thing to be able to pass on an age old way of healing to my little girl, and I’m so proud of her eagerness to help and excitement to learn new things. Handing down the perspective of plants as allies to her has fulfilled a lifelong dream for me, as does working with every one of my deeply valued students.

As much as I love working with the plants and with clients, it is of equal importance to me that I pass on my knowledge, understanding and skills to others. The role of the teacher is not one I initially imagined, expected or even wanted, but time and experience have shown me how vital this dynamic truly is for me… as well as for those women who are passionate about participating and learning within a living tradition of healing and relationship with the natural world. There is perhaps nothing more rewarding than aiding another healer in their journey to realization and fullness. It’s the primary reason I write as well — books, lessons and blogposts, letting the wisdom of the plants and of this beautiful earth flow through my fingers onto these pages. Giving back the gifts given to me in an endless cycle of transformation and renewal.


I’ve just finished up another piece on The Power of the Microcosm that you might be interested in as well.

  3 Responses to “The Gifting Cycle: Transformation & Renewal”

  1. oh no! I’m glad to hear Rhiannon is okay!

    Here’s to hoping this is the upswing for the anima family… and thanks, Kiva, for putting your time and love into this blog for those of us not able to do lessons or actual wilderness trips. It’s bit of revitalizing wild-time in my city-collegefull life. Big love!

  2. owww. poor thing! it sounds like she’s got a good head on her shoulders. i’m glad she’s okay.

    we are fighting sickness here too and it seems to be a nasty bug that is not going away with the usual tried and true herbs.

    i hope everything starts going in a more positive direction your way!

    btw, what happened to the blog party? is it no longer going on?

  3. Thank you for writing, Kiva. I’m grateful to be a recipient of your “giving back.” For future posts, I’d love to hear as much as you can come up with about elderflower (to complement your great collection of writings on elderberry).

    Also, I’m in a berry/wild fruit phase right now. I’d like to learn about the medicinal properties of wild berries and fruit—and wonder if you have any recipes like the ones for elderberry. I’ve made cold extracts from things like viburnum opulus, local wild river grapes, rosa rugosa, etc. but don’t know what medicine these delicious wild treats are imparting. They sure do make me happy, though… and that’s good medicine in my book!

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