To our dearest friends,
The promise of spring is plip-plopping from our roof as icicles melt into puddles below. With spring comes a new awakening of our frozen earth and along with that awakening, possibilities.
We can start fresh. We can do the things we’ve been putting off doing. We can accomplish those goals that will make our lives richer and more meaningful. I realize that spring is not the beginning of the new year but it is a very profound beginning for plant life and all living creatures. Spring is a time for new life, new dreams, and new goals.
As we shed the heavy layers of wool that have kept us warm through the winter, let us also shed the insecurities and doubts that have kept us from living our dreams. Awaken as the spring and go after what you want in life, pursue your passion, and live with sweet honesty and clarity.
Here at the Herbal Academy we have had many beginnings and we are so grateful and thankful to the large community that has built up around us. We have been supported and encouraged all along the way by our many students and fellow herbalists near and far. New England growers, farmers, educators and practitioners have all been a part of what we are doing as a school and as we extend our outreach programs to include learners from all over the world.
We opened our doors for classes a few years ago and that was a beginning. We reached out to students globally with our online herbal courses and that was a beginning. We watched the faces of our graduates as they took hold of their certificates and their new future. That was a beginning.
With beginnings come firsts. The first time you understand the power of plant medicine or the first time you take a walk after learning to identify plants and the world looks amazingly different. The first time you use plants to make your own tinctures and remedies, holding in your hand a small brown bottle where you’ve combined earth, knowledge, and intention. Beginnings are powerful and serve as catalysts to what we create for our future.
Through our studies and observations we have learned that the herbal world, in some ways, is a reflection of the larger world with its own culture and cast of characters playing very important roles. There are those herbalists that everyone has heard of and for good reason: they are the pioneers. They have taken a dusty, old tattered body of plant knowledge almost forgotten with the advent of the industrial revolution, shaken it out, and set it before us-cleaned, polished and rewritten, sometimes using new insights and personal experiences. They are the keepers of this ancient knowledge. They are the procurers of the art of natural earth medicine, sharing all of this with you and me.
The scholarly herbalists keep our bookshelves lined with fascinating information from which to draw.
Then there are those herbalists who are in the fields—the growers, the teachers, the wildcrafters, and the enthusiastic students. This is not to say each herbalist is exclusively one thing or another, for many herbalists are all of the above. They are differentiated to remind us that we are in good company and we need to think about how we can help one another and how we can best play our roles. We, together as herbalists, are part of a bountiful, joyous endeavor and it is made possible by simply beginning.
Are you ready to begin? Start fresh this spring, learn with us here at the Herbal Academy of New England, and work towards your dreams! Start learning about the wild weeds that grow around you in The Herbarium, featuring an extensive, ever-growing plant monograph database. Or sign up for one of our online programs.