I decided to walk the hedge near my apartment to see what the plants were up to. I also hoped to find certain specimens for my herbal stash. Alas, they were not around. It’s funny and interesting how they’ll be present one year and not the next. I won’t be here long enough to figure out their rhythm. Soon I’ll start to establish a relationship with new land – one that will hopefully last much longer.
As I walked the hedge, I reflected on all I’ve learned from doing just that. I understand the blackberry’s life cycle thanks to a somewhat hidden patch nobody but me seemed to know about. I learned about jewel weed out of an obsession to identify it. I refined my ability to distinguish between different trees. That sort of wisdom comes from the marriage of experience and study. Some days I walk then hit the field guides and herbal books out of curiosity. “What was that plant? I didn’t recognize it.” Other times I like to look through my books. I’ll have moments of clarity. “Oh wow! I saw that flower once! Where was it again? Time to find it.”
Learning the land’s rhythm has been essential to my growth as a Druid. In addition to increasing my understanding and wisdom, I try to pick up trash along the way. Today I found some discarded plastic toys – a crushed sand castle mold and an empty bubble container. Kids. Sheesh. Cleaning is usually my offering to the land in exchange for the teachings.
I’m excited to really introduce myself to a new yard, new hedge, and new forest. I’ll take the lessons I learned here and build on them.