This is the story that happened to Cat one summer when she went foraging, and the mystical message that her two teachers conveyed.
One fun, summer day, Cat hoped on her bike and pedaled to Source's Woods. The day was sunshine-filled, and Cat had a happy song in her heart.
She loved to visit Source's Woods where many of her teachers and friends lived. They spoke to her, those wise weeds and trees of silence; grasses full of song and leaves that whistled only when wind blew.
Cat was visiting Source's Woods to collect some medicine. She knew Prunella was growing there, such beauties with their purple flowers. Plantain too, growing near moss alongside a long but shallow ditch where many trees had succumbed during storms of past.
And Burdock, too, of course! Large Burdock, with such sweet energy that one longed to hug Burdock, and then one did, only to find one too many burrs sticking all over the place! But then, that was Burdock, sticky or not, and such good medicine, really, as hidden in the burrs were seeds for future progeny.
Bull Thistles were there, looking rather grisly with their sharp prickles, and so many in such a tiny area amidst poor looking sandy soil. Dandelion, of course, and some Curly Dock, now gone to seed.
Cat enjoyed such adventures, filled with such company, and such tasty offerings, how could one refuse?
And sun was there, hot and humid, and so were mosquitoes, but bug repellent took care that they should stay far away!
Coming back home from such a jaunt, it is really to be expected that one should bring home some friends. Ants, spiders, earwigs, and snails too!
It was customary for Cat to leave her paper bags filled with wild edibles and medicinal weeds on the back balcony, opened and exposed so that her insect friends could find new pastures.
On this occasion, as twilight was making its appearance, Cat brought everything in. She thought everyone had left, but found two snails that decided to stay a bit longer. Patiently, Cat placed mama and baby snail on her hand, marveling at their shells and feeling their slimy bodies exploring her skin.
"There!" she said, offering both snails a fine leaf in the garden by the side of the house. They would have none of that, so Cat left them gently on blades of grass side by side one another. They started to move off, so Cat bid them farewell, wishing them fine garden adventures with the Hostas.
A few nights later, this night found Cat on her bike, happily riding along a quiet street. She let go of the handlebars, taking in the clear dark sky strung with stars before closing her eyes briefly. In that moment, the sound of the crickets seemed to be all around her, surrounding her, as if she was being cradled in the womb of the universe, lulled with the symphony of cricket music.
Such a blissful and refreshing experience, such Love everywhere!
Cat came home and realized she had forgotten an item out in the shed. She donned her flip flops and walked across the grass, chiding herself for putting them on when the cool grass beckoned below her feet.
Oddly, she tripped suddenly, and her left flip flop went flying.
And what was this?!
Who should show up on her flip flop, but mama and baby snail, smack on the flip flop and sans shell!
Now look at that, Cat breathed below her breath, but really there were no words, only awe at seeing them and wondering what in tarnation this was all about.
Cat put that poignantly to the Universe, marveling at mama and baby snail leaving a trail of slime along her flip flop as they traveled across it.
"We're fine," was the answer. "We just wanted to tell you that we're fine."
Yes, mama and baby snail wanted to say a quick hello, a quick we're doing well. And off they went, back into the grass, slowly making their way to fulfill their destiny of gobbling up the Hosta patch.
Cat smiled and stood there for a moment, enveloped in the quietness of the night.
Moon had come to shine down and offer her silvery light.
Yes, all was well, because, well, all had always been well.
Yes, all had always been well, and would forever so be.
All is well.
Story: Copyright Catherine Wilson, 2019.
Original Photos & Photo-Manipulation by Cat.