May is probably the busiest month I've seen all year. I often find myself feeling busy, but in actuality I'm not sure if I'm really all that busy. Between Mother's Day, sons graduating from high school and turning 21, and weddings across the country (not to mention the random assortment of work and projects I take on) there isn't a lot of free time this month. This is happy business, but often comes at the cost of mental frenzy with a bit of anxiety mixed in.
I'm a big picture kinda gal, and I find it hard to have patience with the steps it takes to build things. Luckily, my beloved social circle has been supportive in reminding me that my ideas are GREAT but I need to slow down, that it takes time to build my practice, my medicine garden, and my dreams. Things are moving (albeit slowly IMO), but they are moving.
It's time to celebrate those small wins in my life- I hope that this serves as a reminder to you, as well, to take time to celebrate the small wins in your life amid the chaos around you. All this pent up energy waiting to explode as we move into spring can be exhausting, and makes it easy to forget to notice the little things of joy.
This week, I am celebrating a little plant.
One of the biggest blessings I received when studying herbs at the Maryland University of Integrative Health was their emphasis on teaching about at risk and endangered plants. We went on plenty of field trips and studied under some of the the best teachers and mentors in the field of plant cultivation and land stewardship. This education provided me with a profound respect and appreciation for a number of plants found within the Appalachian Mountain regions, and inspired me in naming my business Wild Woman Medicine. These women knew those valleys and hills, and they used the gifts from the earth to care for themselves and their communities.
When we found this property I was stoked to notice so many of the familiar plants I had learned about doing field work in the Appalachian areas. This was a good sign! Many of the plants growing naturally here were ones we used as markers or clues as to where to find some of the BIG ONES: Ginseng and Goldenseal.
I did not find Ginseng or Goldenseal on our property.
But, I knew they could grow here. During our first year I bought seeds and root cuttings of both of these plants. I researched how to plant, when to plant, and where to plant. I tried multiple spots on various parts of my property. Nothing grew.
Tried again a year later, this time adding ramps.
But this week I checked all my regular spots and finally, FINALLY, saw signs of life.
One. Little. Goldenseal baby. *cue angelic voices*
I spent a lot of time and energy into cultivating my future forest garden to no avail, but this one little guy (or gal) made it through and gives me hope. I'm amazed at how one little sprig of a plant can fill my heart. This is no longer a hopeless endeavor.
It's a small win, but serves as a reminder that when life feels chaotic, I need to take a bit of time to appreciate the small things around me. Today as the rain poured down, washing away my big plans of planting veggies in the garden and checking on the bees, I was able to sit on the porch with my coffee and listen to the sound of raindrops hitting the trees. I sat quietly as hummingbirds came to sip nectar. I took deep breaths and tasted the rain with all of my senses. Centering oneself shifts a chaotic day of to-do lists into a manageable set of goals.
I hope you find something small to celebrate, and remember that even small wins can ripple into bigger joys.