It’s been a week now since I’ve been away from my friends and I am sitting here missing them like mad, tonight. The Herbal Resurgence Gathering has come and gone, for 2013. The attendees are all home to our various communities feeling recharged and inspired. As always, there was something about the feeling of camaraderie that occurs at this conference that makes you wish you could bottle it and just take little sips all year long.
Also appealing is the fact that Mormon Lake is a beautiful place. That first night wandering around on the mountaintop campsite, illuminated by the light of the full moon, reminded me that this gathering was a timeless event. Since the very earliest days, people have been drawn to converge on places like this. Snuggling in my sleeping bag; listening to the elk bugle lulled me to sleep faster than any lullaby.
I have to admit, I am prone to choosing to attend the classes held outdoors. Learning underneath the towering pines is infinitely preferable to being stuck in a hotel conference room. The trees hold us in their healing energy and open our heart and our minds to the messages we are hearing. No class made that more clear than the class Julie Caldwell taught on Sentience of Place. I also think that I think teaching in that environment brings out the best presentations, as well.
There were so many amazing offerings this year, it was hard to choose between them all. Teaching myself this year, made that even more challenging. I missed some classes I really wanted to attend, especially Sean and Jim’s class which I heard was amazing. Still, I managed to get my fill of herbal wisdom. I finally got to take a couple of classes from Matt Wood on Tongue and Pulse diagnosis. Larken Bunce’s presentation on her work with free clinics was inspiring and Sam Coffman’s class on GMP’s was almost enough to make me relax about that issue, just a little. I was especially happy to watch my friend Traci’s class on holistic body image because she brought up a lot of topics that need to be discussed and addressed about we as providers approach the idea of encouraging a positive self-image in our clients.
Even the vending hall is just fun. Instead of a place where people are trying to sell you stuff, it takes on the its own unique character as a social gathering place and a venue for learning. The medicine makers who come to this conference freely share their wisdom and ideas. Rebecca outdid herself this year with inspiring new products and familiar favorites.
I am always amazed by the fact that year after year Kiva and Wolf manage to send participants home fired and ready to take herbalism back to the people in their communities. The people who come to this conference aren’t just business people or there to network. They are people who share a calling- each one of them is lured by the plants to spread a message of empowerment and independence. And the plants connect us all in a
way that the term colleague doesn’t quite cover. It is an honor, and a blessing, to be a part of that community.