Snow collects in icy corners round the edges of the window panes on these blessed old windows. The cold radiates off glass penetrating the contrasting warmth of the house as they duel hot against cold, there are moments in the subzero that I’m not sure who has won the battle. Drifts billow wave like through the yard and field, they rise and fall, softening the edges of everything. Daylight breaks slowly into the winter night sky, and I can see with certainty through the dusky shadows that we are snowed in. There is stillness in the soft morning light. The wind has ceased its wild winter howl of night, and snow still ponders its fall softly down.
I sip herbal chai quietly in the darkness which has softly begun to give way to the slow rise of the winter sun. The skies are still heavy with cloud, but the light finds a way through painting from above a soft golden glow with promises blushing around the edges, setting up the contrast with the cold blue that streaks in miniscule places between cloud. Mother Nature has not yet decided if she is through with the snow. The light breaks just over where the sun rises, as cloud cover huddles in ever so closely.
I silently give thanks for the quiet.
My youngest son sleeps soundly on the couch next to me, as he has been battling the winter crud, and passed out early there. He is now too big to carry to his bed. He has outgrown my height, and we now weigh almost the same. I smile over at him with loving disbelief that we have grown together this far. It seems while you are busy living, teaching and guiding them, your children outgrow you. It feels as though you wake one wild and earnest winter morn and the reality of them growing up settles hard in your soul.
It is good. Just bittersweet.
There have been the days, hell, the years, when you thought you would never get here. The time ahead of them grown and gone seemed as though a far off strange land that you would never get to on your journey. You would hear the whispers of this strange place where children grow up and move on, but it seems as surreal as a mythical destination, one where no one’s really ever been, but they whisper about with wild-eyed wonder.
I’m here to tell you it really exists.
Though the mountains of laundry, the endless encouragement, the sleepless nights, the bottomless pits of food lovingly prepared and eaten, all the sporting events with perpetually hard bleachers to be ridden for hour after hour, the tears and the discipline, on both your parts, the heartbreak and the joy, the learning and gentle guidance, all create a footpath to our children growing up and becoming who they are meant to be.
It all adds up to a new season of life.
This dusty footpath worn into the fertile soil of family. One step at a time we go, sometimes hand in hand, and others through the deep, single file.
But go, nevertheless.
And it is good.
A new season for us all.
As I sit in the predawn light, I draw comfort that we are all on our path, always together, always connected as their paths branch off the main trail, I remember that they all lead back to home. To family. To love.
And that feels good.
So, as life continues to change and grow, as the trail stretches out before each of us, and we prepare to encourage our next son onto his branching path in just a few months, this mama feels her feet deeply connected to the earth in loving support of it all. We are getting glimpses of what it will be like to have one child left at home, and the other three out in the world navigating their separate paths. Little snippets to prepare all of our hearts, including the heart of one man child left to navigate the main trail a little while longer with his honored parental guides.
Transitioning on the trail can be tricky. There may be rocks, and we may stumble, but we regain our balance with the internal compass of our heart encouraging us on, showing the way.
It is also exciting, if I allow myself to feel it. This anticipation of the journey and where it may lead in the coming days.
It is full of possibility and promise.
Each of our individual paths branching from the main trail, always leading back, but calling us ahead into the next adventure. As I turn and look back over my shoulder down the path from where I have come, I can see how the earlier navigation has prepared me for now. How I could not have gotten to here another way, a different path. It has always been leading me to here, to now, to this path that I am on.
Waves of gratitude wash over me for the journey, for this life and the lessons it’s living has given me.
My soul did not choose the trail for the undisciplined.
It has traversed unfathomable depths and heights, teaching and guiding me into a place of resilient strength. I have learned to navigate in the dark guided by droplets of starlight. I have learned to read my own heart’s compass and trust that I will, and I am exactly where I need to be. I have learned to lean in when it’s hard and not give up, even when I wanted to. I have learned to stand on grace, and that I am not alone on this path. I have learned who I really am, and that my kind of medicine is needed here on this planet.
The journey of being a mama and raising four wild hearted boys has grown me into who I am created to be, and for that I am forever grateful for the path we navigate together.
It has delivered me into a fullness of myself that I could not have created otherwise. I have always encouraged my guys, and always will, to be true to their own selves, follow their passions, and create pathways to live their dreams.
So now it’s time for this mama to take a spoonful of her own medicine, and continue to live this life that I have strove to model for them.
Choose the path less traveled.
The time has come for me to live my dreams,
be true to my own self,
and follow my passions.
I know with certainty that all paths lead back to home.
I have taken a deep dive into my dream of becoming an herbalist, only to realize that I already am. I have stepped forward on the path of herbal studies by choosing a mentor, and a course that resonates with me. The years of independent study and practice has made the navigation of this path smoother, and I am able to build on the knowledge I already have as a practicing herbalist to go deeper, learn more.
And learn more I am.
I love how when you really dive into something you discover the depth within the study. The more you know, the more you understand how little you really do know. Herbalism is the path of lifetime study.
You begin where you are and you never stop learning.
This is good. This I understand.
We never stop learning and growing while we navigate the path of life.
I am so excited to expand on what living and practicing plant medicine has already taught me, and where the path will take me. Aromatherapy and herbalism are one practice in the same, therefore in order to truly understand and be an effective aromatherapist or herbalist, we must study both.
This is a different path than most, but it is my chosen path. Holistic aromatherapy and herbalism.
The path of wholeness.
To truly understand the entirety of plant medicine and wisdom, we must study the whole plant. It’s essence and energy, as well as the botany and medicinal effects of all plant parts, of the whole. This is what holistic health and wellness is all about. The study of the whole.
The holistic path resonates with my own wholeness, holiness.
We are all already whole, holy. How do we more fully express that in our daily life?
All of creation sings our wholeness, and our plant allies harmonize wholeness within our physical bodies. This is why we feel good when we are in nature. Why flowers and their beautiful aromas uplift the spirit and energize the body. How spending time in gardens revitalizes at soul level. How herbs and their vegetal, herbaceous, and sometimes camphoraceous, green scents can reset the body.
You don’t have to believe it to feel it.
This is my passion.
This holistic life, the study of plants and their wisdom, the glory of creation expresses the truth of who I am at my core.
The seed of life, swelling and dividing into fruition another dynamic of living this path. A natural development of creation, a re-membering of sorts, a soul knowing.
The path less traveled resonates and reverberates through me as I read research and study more deeply the things I already know on another level. A re-membering of the wildness of humanity and how we depend on the sacred gifts of the divine. This is how we heal. This is how we move forward and remember who we are as human beings. This is how we connect direct with Holy Spirit.
This is how I live an authentic holistic life, and walk the path I have been given. This is how I honor the journey of mama-hood, and express creatively onto this branch of the path that leads to the next adventure.
This is how I honor the wild heart within me, and the path that always leads back to home.
Walk on my loves, walk on.