I received this beautiful birthday card from my stepmother when I was 21 years old--over 20 years ago--and the gorgeous image on the front completely mesmerized me. The image so resonated with me that I framed the card and have kept it close to me ever since.
The back of the card says that the title of the piece is Picking Honeysuckle by Sophie Anderson and is courtesy of Fine Art Photographic Library Ltd., London. I wanted to be sure and give credit where it is due.
Now, back when I was 21 years old, I really had no thoughts about plants or herbs or even gardening for that matter. I couldn't even be trusted to keep a houseplant alive. I was convinced that the gene responsible for my great grandmother's legendary green thumb had been left out of my DNA completely. And, I had just had my first child, my daughter, and all of my focus and energy was devoted to just trying to keep her alive. So why did I connect with this image so strongly at that time? I honestly don't know.
What I do know is that about 5 years ago I had the desire to grow a vegetable garden. I couldn't shake it, either, no matter how hard I tried. I told myself that if I couldn't even keep a houseplant alive (if they started to get yellow leaves that meant to water more, right?) how in the wide world was I going to keep a whole garden of plants alive--and outside to boot? I even tried to get my hubs to do it. He actually does have some plant growing abilities but he turned me down flat. He just didn't have the time, he said.
So, I tried to forget about it. I told myself I didn't have time either, what with work and the kids. But, something had a hold of me and wasn't going to let go. So, I started to look for books and information online and I began to learn about such things as gardening organically and sustainably and growing heirloom variety vegetables handed down through the generations. And, about herbs and their almost magickal healing properties. I began my first forays into the amazing world of green growing things. And I knew that what I wanted to do was become an herbalist and to study alternative ways of healing. It was something that I knew down deep inside.
And, then, well, life got in the way I guess. I did continue to garden and progressed into growing seedlings of vegetables and ornamentals and was delighted when my little seedlings responded to my care and not only didn't die but thrived instead.
But...I went no further in my desire to study herbalism. There never seemed to be enough money and the needs of my kids always came first so I put all of those dreams up on a shelf somewhere and forgot about them. That is, until I stumbled upon Antoinette's amazing blog, The Herbit and decided to watch a movie she suggested called Juliette of the Herbs about the truly inspirational life of the herbalist Juliette de Bairacli Levy. If you are so inclined, I very very highly recommend it.
And, now I have that feeling in my solar plexus once again. That feeling that just won't go away. And, I am glad. It's time.
Thank you so very much, Antoinette, for your very cool blog and for sharing this movie.