Look Alive

05 June 2012

Venous / As a Buoy

"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined."

At the end of last year, I completed intended graduate study in herbal medicine. I vowed to remain present for the lessons no matter how Life showed up. If experiencing my first hurricane and earthquake were among the indications, boy, did it! Regardless, this week offered the official pomp-and-circumstanceand I chose to sit it out. The usual suspects of ingratitude, anti-social behavior or outstanding balances had nothing to do with that absence. If I could go bare without prejudice and the ceremony took place in a beautiful garden that offered me a seat in a strong tree or pesticide-free grass, the personal appeal might have been greater. Of course, I am aware of how and happy to dress for various occasions. Per the next level or loved one's invitation, I may even clutch pearls in the future. However, less is the most appropriate, personal expression for this particular occasion. I'll explain a bit. 

My secret life with plants began unexpectedly some time ago, di vines reaching for me from what sometimes resembled painful and rocky places. Being presented with the threat of cancer and its implications at age 17, surgery stopped being a career goal and became personally mandatory. Even if only for a calendar season, a teenager accustomed to walking, taking stairs, belting tunes, working out or just sleeping in her own bed who suddenly can't is in line for a paradigm shift. Know that I embrace the merit of the knife rightfully wielded. Still, elder wisdom's way with the wild kingdom made post-operative healing one of a deep, abiding strength that eventually engaged my whole being in the process, encouraging my swap for the pen and other tools that can unify by Nature. I've traversed climates and humbled myself before experts with completely different lifestyles otherwise to discourage dependence upon harsh, self-fulfilling pharmaceuticals. Why, then, would I need a certain cap, games or bra to honor old friends as near & dear as chickweed, garlic and bitter melon for helping me during figuratively naked times in my Life? I wouldn't.

On Sunday, a fellow runaway graduate and I met for the first time since our last class in December. We discussed our previous and next steps over sushi and green tea. The realization that we'd probably be impoverished according to modern standards in all senses but that of community and never get out of school if we really honored the traditions the way we wanted to and our ancestors did was also on the table. Was a society that encourages what's showy and, even with 20-year studies, only scratches the surface of knowledge relative to, say, ancient mystery schools the best place to step into this arena? In the midst of a full moon and just before the Venus transit that reportedly won't recur until 2117, we quickly burst the bubbles of that rhetoric and the overly idealistic pieces of our plans alike. Ancient tempests of the natural and socioeconomic kind could not stop greater purpose from staying afloat to carry genuine interest to our hearts. From there, it continues to circulate so other individuals, if not nations, can also be healed as God wills. That's ourstory and it's sticking to us. Although he and I parted ways and may never meet again given our respective Life assignments, we understand that ebb and flow is to be expected. Still, it will always be a blessing to know that someone else will step out on faith and get their feet wet to make sure that true Love is delivered in any weather.