The last relationship I was in was full of amazing spiritual experiences, divine insights, connections with plants and songs. It was also, particularly towards the end, extremely painful. Even though it ended many months ago the memories are regularly triggered.
I pulled the Self Heal, Prunella vulgaris, tincture off my shelf to take some for my arm. As vivid as if it were yesterday the memory came back to me of how we stood in that field at sunset, the meadow spread out before us and the forest with our campsite behind. The remains of golden sunlight hung in the air, a cool breeze washed over standing my hair on end. We paused in silence for a while, each of us connecting to the energy of the place and the spirit of the plant.
It was our first time gathering an herb together without the rest of our school group. We both perceived Prunella as a large purple being. The details may have been different, but I remember the commonality.
Months later when I pressed the tincture we both delighted in the sparkles that shone though the light green fluid. I remember how that plant made us giggle and feel all warm and fuzzy.
As these memories flooded through me a pang of sadness, pain, longing, regret follow close behind and I fund myself suspicious of the medicine. ” if I take this will I be calling up her energy? Is that counter productive to my healing?” thoughts like that wandered through my mind. It is a familiar loop that I encounter when I pick up objects around my home that were gifts, or that she had something profound to say about.
There has been a sense that these memories, these plants, stones, containers belong to her, belong to that relationship and that they are not really, freely mine.
And yet today, sweet Prunella brought to my attention that just because someone was there when I gathered a plant, or had an insight, or received a gift, … does not mean that that came from them. It all comes from God and Nature, we are each just a vehicle for the divine.
A weight was lifted and the medicine suddenly became untainted, free now from the grief of the past relationship, standing in its own light and healing power. Oh, deep gratitude for the ability to reclaim memories as my own.
Thank you Self Heal, you are already doing your job. Perhaps I'll take some now.
These pictures of Prunella in the midst of Spearmint are from my neighbor's garden. I met her recent on my walk and she kindly offered me the herbs in her front yard that to harvest.