They say, “The eye is the window to the soul.”
Since elementary school, I have drawn the eye. I suppose one could say I was drawn to, and into, it. I lost count how many margins of notebooks had this visionary symbol gracing their pages. Instinctively I knew, from a very young age, that observation and looking inward, as well as insight—which translates as clarity, but also lifelong learning for me—would be parts of my core essence.
Delving deeper, beyond the surface of what we physically see, dwells awakening. It is the culmination of inherent knowing, and for me, an essential, spiritual aspect of BEing. It is the mind’s eye, or more comprehensively, the spirit of a being, which truly sees.
Herbalism: the purpose-full art of pairing supportive herbs with beings to restore and rebalance, is a sensory experience. It is experiential in nature. Smell, Taste, Touch and See are senses we call upon regularly in this Art of Well-being. We also listen, to the plants themselves, to their environment around, above and below, to the pollinators buzzing about our plant allies, as well as listen within. It is our intuition, that inner knowing, that opens our eyes and hearts, but it is our spirit—our energetic lifeforce—that interconnects us with all be-ings, including plants, trees, flowers, animals and the elements, that helps us to truly see. Speaking is not necessary to impart wisdom or to communicate in this state. It is perception—elevated, all-encompassing and expansive.
Perhaps it is a byproduct of years of meditation practice—in be-ing stillness—but when herbs are applied or ingested for well-being and self-healing, for me, an all-over, tangible tingling is the result. Intuition brings understanding, that this sensation is not solely from the healing and supportive properties of the herb, but from the plant’s life force. Even after the plant is harvested and dried, in a state some would consider no longer living, that interconnection, is. It is lasting and miraculous.
With connection comes an opportunity to teach and learn. Nature has been one of my greatest teachers. In Herbalism, in its practice and study, it goes far beyond the herbs’ usefulness in cooking, herbal teas/infusions or salve-making, among others. A “spiritual be-ing having an earthly experience,” I delight in Nature’s answer for nurture. Herbalism has grounded me and enriched me, like the soil and humus that surround my plant friends. It has tethered me to this earth for a time, at a time when it was most needed. I see this significance with perfect clarity.
The heart of Botaniscape™ and budding Herbalist/Wildcrafter, Lori McClellan sees the Art of Herbalism as her lifelong connection to Nature and wonder manifested most fully—another exciting medium and source of abundant joy. A daily meditator and career Journalist, Author, Artist and Poet, she creates as Loretta Boyer McClellan. Her works as a writer of fiction, nonfiction and poetry; conscious PR, brand, graphic design, and communications; and as an Arts instructor, journalist and artist, “sized the canvas,” so to speak, for a fruitful life of expression, connection and inspiration. Author of The Nature of BEing: A Healing Journey, The Misthaven of Maine Series, and Dodging Raindrops: Poems and Prose of Beauty, Peace and Healing, Lori creates from a place of Oneness. Writing, meditating, painting, and her relationship with Nature and all beings, most tangibly through Herbalism, are her connection to the Infinite.