This week I’ve been laid low by a head cold and sinus infection.
When I stop arguing with the experience and thinking it should be different, it’s not so bad.
Surrendering my ideas of what I should be feeling and what should be happening, I discover many pleasures and gifts. Right here. Right now.
Giving in to what my body really needs in this moment leads me to a rather blurry, yet creative, hibernatory space that feels in tune with the natural wisdom of this time of year. Wild animals, and even our house kittens, are quieter and sleep more in these dark months. Many plants are dormant, turning their energy inward to gather energy for spring growth.
Giving in to what is, I can enjoy not getting into my car for 8 days, and spending cave-time reading, envisioning, writing and napping.
Giving in to slowing down, I am more open to the magic of synchronicity that is always present in our lives, but easy to overlook in daily busyness.
Yesterday in our local paper I read an article about a raid on salal poachers in the
Siusilaw National Forest.
Salal is a beautiful, native evergreen shrub that grows in these woods. It gets poached because it is valued commercially as greenery for floral arrangements. Then it usually called Lemon Leaf.
The article also said that due to its anti-inflammatory properties salal is helpful for sinus infections.
Although I’ve lived for 26 years here the edge of our forest that has thickets of salal, and although I tend to get a sinus infection once a year, I’ve never worked with salal for medicine.
Googling medicinal properties of salal I learned that First Nation people relied on it as a healing food and medicine for many conditions including inflammation, infection, digestive issues and burns.
“Sometimes our most common plants, the ones we barely notice, are our best everyday medicines.” Elise Krohn, Wild Foods and Medicines blog.
When the sun came out this morning, I meandered in the woods, talked to the plants, savored the earth under my feet, the light sparkling through tree tops and the sound of rushing creek and - after asking the plants for permission- I gathered a few leaves, brewed them up and am now sipping my first mugful. It’s earthy and pleasant.
Will it cure my sinus infection?
I don’t know.
But I felt healing in just going into the woods and connecting with this hardy, lush plant. The process of gathering and preparing the tea was itself a healing meditation and prayer.
Plant medicine experts say salal carries the quality of perseverance and forgiveness. Soundsgood to me.
Have you worked with salal or other wild plants for healing?
Are there challenging situations in your life that, when you stop resisting, begin to reveal deeper gifts and pleasures?
Please leave a comment below!
Want to learn more about the healing power of wild plants? Check out the book The Wild Wisdom of Weeds, 13 Essential Plants for Human Survival by Katrina Blair
Want to learn more about the power of synchronicity? Check out the book, Sidewalk Oracles, Playing with Signs, Symbols and Synchronicity in Everyday Life by Robert Moss
Want support in discovering healing gifts and pleasures within your challenges? Send me an email Lea@LeaBayles.com and we’ll set up a time to talk about the best way I can support you.