To be alive, we need to breathe. I don't know where you got your oxygen lately, but I get it from plants. From an ongoing dance of nature. Plants are literally giving us that what we need in order to define ourselves as being alive.
For those of you who want to reconnect to nature, foraging is a great tool. It will provide you with a lot of opportunities for celebrating that ancient relationship we have with the plant world. Foraging will not only result in wild foods, it's an ongoing process that will give you moments you could not have expected or anticipated. It's in these moments that the magic happens.
We all know these feelings from other contexts as well. What few people know of me, is that I have an avid love for overtone singing. It's like a ritual, warming up our voices, getting in the right state of mind and starting to sing our sounds, eagerly awaiting until it happens: the moment the overtones come in.
They arrive, like an invited and awaited guest, and are welcomed. Suddenlty this is are more than just people using their voices, these are sounds that clash, sounds that mate, sounds that dance in the space that is used. They lift the whole singing to a next level. I know some universities are doing scientific research on singing, sounds and what exactly these do with our bodies, and I'm sure they could give the chemical details on what actually happens there, but I'm decribing here how it feels to me. It's the moment everything falls in its place and you are able to be totally in the here and now. When you are the moment.
The same applies to foraging. And that's why I love to forage on my own, or select my companions very carefully. There's this moment when you truly connect to the plant, understand the plant, share time and space with the plant. No exceptional skills needed, just the ability to go into that space of opening up your senses and becoming the experience.
I recently read a beautiful passage about someone describing this in a book on the Sudbury Valley School, in which one of the staff members describes how we learn all the time, organically, in all directions. She explains how she had an amazing experience with a beech tree.
She had been working at that place for 18 years, saw the colors of the beech leaves in autumn, the structure of the tree in winter time, the new growth in spring and the luscious deep green leaves in summer. She saw generations of kids climbing that tree, she even saw some kids climbing all the way to the top, sitting there for hours.
But then, one of the kids wanted her to climb with her, which she had never done before. This girl showed her step by step how to get higher and higher, and for the first time in her life, she actually climbed the tree.
And then, she saw the tree. She experienced he tree. She was moved deeply, and tells how she can hardly describe into words the respect, honour and protection she feels.
This is why I love foraging. I do not only come home with wild edible greens or seeds or fruits, I come home with stories, with dreams, with inspiration, with a different viewpoint, with a feeling of being part of a greater all, with an experience. It's always fruitful, it's always nourishing, it's always valuable and good.
May it be as good for you too!