Immersion: A Spring Walk by Kiva
Thanks to unexpected April rains (and snow!) the Canyon is a lovely shade of green just now. The Beebalm is knee high and preparing to flower while the Saskatoon berries are just beginning to show their first blush. Another blessing from the rains has been that the Nettle hasn’t gone to flower yet, so we’re still joyfully eating them at nearly every meal.
Rhiannon and I took a long walk downriver earlier this week, to gather Wild Roses, and to soak up the incredible lush beauty of the fully leafed out Gila. The day was Summertime warm, but with a cool breeze skipping along the river, brushing back our hair and keeping us comfortable. We walked down the center of the calf deep river, so as to better see the flowers and butterflies on every side. We were both delighted by the thousands of Horsetail plants gracing the banks and by the plethora of Wild Mint and Silverweed at every turn. We even found the first ripe Red Currant berries, which Rhiannon happily gathered and sat upon a smooth rock to eat one by juicy one.
There’s something about these long rambling walks that teaches me more about ecology, herbalism and poetry than any book ever could. It’s life close up, magnified by the senses and intensified by the immersion of self into place. The wandering here and there with my face in the plants while listening to the Cliff Swallows sweep by helps me to fully understand and experience each season, each natural transition and every possible nuance of the land I live with and from. Every flower, bit of wind or colorful bug gives me yet another source of gratitude and wonder.
Rhiannon approached each fragrant hedge of Wild Rose with a joyful cry of “oh, you pink sweeties!” and spun wildly around them, plucking petals to nibble and sniffing every thorn guarded blossom she could reach. Under the outstretched boughs of the silver-barked Alders, she danced upon the dry rocks protruding above the water’s surface. She thanked each tree for its shade and ran back and forth along the bank, proclaiming the tree sheltered path to be “the most dream-like tunnel in the world”.
These slow moments of delving fully into the present moment — caught up completely in the smells and tastes and sounds and touches of the world all around are truly when I feel most alive, most fulfilled and most myself. This is the simple, and completely profound existence that all wild things are made for. Every walk is a portal into a more primal, and primary, place. Every moment brings me more and more home… To here. To myself. To the whole.
So go outside… take a little ramble, and find some flowers to immerse yourself in.
Categories: Practicing Animá Lifeways, Sense of Place, Wild Plants & Traditional Healingways