Our first commissioned collection. It feels like such a gift… to me. Claudia, owner of a bulk food/herb/tea shop a town or two away wants us to collect lemon balm & red clover blossoms. Her parents are from Peru & as I am collecting the pink & lavender blossoms into the wicker basket, I am thinking of all of the cholitas (Peruvian women from rural areas still in traditional dress & engaged in indigenous wisdom and custom) who carted various herbs, vegetables, flowers from the campo (rural area). How they would bring their mantas (Andean woven textiles wrapped around the shoulders for carrying things in, like a sack) full of cosas (things), babies, extra clothes & food for the day at market and journey there and back. Many times they would simply unfurl their manta and make mounds of papas (potatoes), medicinal wild roots & leaves, and various other cosas on top of it resting on the earth.
How simple, transitory & divine those markets seemed. Those formidable women, sometimes so old it seemed as if they were carved out of the mountainside, sitting by their mounds from early early morning to late in the day – at times nodding off, chuckling with friends, imploring passersby to buy their cosas. And today I am doing the simplest act of pinching the spiked globes from atop wild clover plants.
Wild plants- how different they are in comparison to cultivated ones. The wild plants do not need me in the slightest. They offer a streamline connection straight to the source, our Great Mother Earth. They are feral & resilient &, in the case of clovers, packed with nutrients from deep in the soil.
I feel humbled as I pick these complex blossoms thinking of all the energy that went into their flourishing. I feel the abundance of the earth in such beauty, so freely offered streaming through my hand as I wander the mountainside finding patches beneath apple tree, beside blueberry bush, in swale & amid the wilder thickets of aster & ivy, locust & tall grasses. I feel humbled as I explore the land, basket in hand, feeling excitement pulse through me akin to how I felt as a youngin’ on an easter egg hunt.
I am here, we are here & I get to take part in the seasonal flowerings of wild plants – their harvest and distribution. I feel so blessed beyond rationale.