Rebekah Gamble posted an update 2 years, 10 months ago
We’re in the seed blessing time, just about to go into planting.
I find starting plants from seeds to be one of the strong teachers in my life. See, people think it’s just popping seeds into the ground, watering, keeping warm and providing light, and bam! But my seeds have not been like that.
I have herbs that are like that. Some hesitate to grow so long, you think they’re dead, then they finally make a decision and pop out of the ground at full life, even casting off the shell of the seed in the process at the ends of their leaves. Some finally make a decision and come up slowly, still timidly. I can relate to both of these, but the seeds I relate to more are the tougher ones. Interestingly, most of the plants I have a relationship with and those that are closer to totems are more like these. These seeds are often powerful medicine.
Some plants, such as the heart healer and overall nourisher Hawthorn, require suffering to have a chance. They require periods of cold and either drowning or wounding to grow. This is done by soaking seeds for a day or two before planting, or a process called scarification in which the seed is actually cut with a knife before being planted. Hawthorn requires not only drowning or wounding to grow, but it also requires a period of cold- generally being left through the winter- before it can sprout. I think of my childhood and adolescence when I look at this plant, and how this was necessary for my heart to become who it is. I think of the last few years and my heart, starting with scarification, then drowning, and a long period of cold. Hawthorn has, in studies, repaired all heart valve damage even in cases of heart attacks with daily use within two years. The plants don’t give a damn if you think you’re unhealable or that you’ll never recover. They’ll heal you anyway.
Another plant, Datura, will actually die in seed form if it’s exposed to light. This plant I start by drowning or scarring the seeds, then putting in the dark, damp soil in a starter pot, then putting this in a plastic bag, and keeping it away from light in a cardboard box. If light gets to it, the seeds struggle and sometimes die. Hope kills Datura, who must be in the dark to remember that in her is the light. Datura, a poison plant having to do with vision (and one I am legally required to have a license to have in my home), requires time in the darkness, groping around, before she can even consider letting the world see her or being bothered with the effort of seeing the world. The pain of the light is here. With my pituitary problems, I can relate to this as light is generally painful for me.
I think of the way humans are, how we cry bitterly when it hurts, when we scream out when we drown, when we flinch when we’re cut, when we panic when we grope around in darkness in places where there is no light, how we hesitate to make decisions. It is interesting to me that we forget that the trying grounds are our nourishment, that suffering is as good as joy, that this is not about finding the light or being broken to let the light in, but the wearing away and the wounding so that the light can get out. Depth and height build each other, support each other, feed each other.
I feel that I am in a place where I enjoy the suffering as part of the human experience, and yet I find hesitation in my heart, fear even, around joy. Someone in my life has been bringing me joy, and the amount of fear in me for this is incredible. True to my nature, I’m taking my time in my sick room to fill the barrel full of fear and hold my head under. Where there’s fear there’s an opportunity for growth and I am not afraid to drink deeply or eat my own fear for breakfast.
I sit with this fear of joy, pain of light, in my dark room because the treatment for the infection has flared up my pituitary and I can’t handle the light (the screen to write this is probably all I’ll be able to handle today), and I think- what does Datura have to say about when she first reaches and experiences the light?