Today, as we all rest, recovering from the illness that has been passed from family member to family member, I took the time to reflect a bit on the amazing path I am following. Last fall, for instance, Wendy and I took a walk in the woods. The girls were all at various classes and we had a bit of time to kill. We were at the theater where Precious was taking an acting class, so we were in unfamiliar woods, not completely unknown, just not completely familiar. I have been back in there a few times previously and found cat-tail and a large chaga mushroom. I was eager to show Wendy the chaga I had found.
We wandered around checking out various plants and just soaking in the feeling of the forest. It was beautiful. At one point, Wendy asked if I knew what this plant was.
The exchange that followed was something like ...
W: "Do you think that is a winter green?"
DEM: "Wintergreen? Do you think so?"
W: "No, a winter ... green."
DEM: "Oh ... I don't know." Then I stooped down, picked a leaf, broke it in half, and sniffed.
DEM: Grinning ... "What do you think?"
W: "It is wintergreen!"
While wandering, we also found our first ever live cedar tree. We know about using cedar bark and wood for bow drills, but they do not grow very prolifically in our area.
As we gathered the girls, one by one, we completed our usual routine. But, we added a few stops ... I had spied a mullein plant that I wanted to gather for a hand drill. In roughly the same area, I had also seen a basswood tree that had blown over. And, in that same place, I had seen red willow, which is smoked by the natives in our area for healing. So, as we passed, we stopped and gathered a mullein stalk, basswood bark, and many red willow staves. The basswood is for making cordage. The red willow bark was peeled and dried. And, of course, the mullein stalk was cleaned up and hung to dry for a hand drill.
In between the trips, I also took the time to gather the dried milkweed stalks we had around the yard. I tried to twist a bit into cordage and decided it needed to really dry out. So, I bundled it in the house. Finally, I carved a sharpening stone holder out of a piece of birch log.
If all my days could be like that one, my MooseBoots journey might make faster progress. Of course, I believe that things move as they should. I know that I must take each step on this path, there are no shortcuts. And, even if there were, I am not sure I would take them for fear of missing something incredible.