I just returned home from a great trip to Europe! I have been to Amsterdam several times, but never in the summer. The days were warm and long and Roses (Rosa) were blooming everywhere! On the 15-minute train ride from Schipol Airport to Central Station, I could see Elder (Sambucus nigra) flowering along side the tracks. Rows and rows of white clusters waving at me as the train sped by. Seeing one of my favorite herb friends as soon as I landed was an auspicious sign that our trip was going to be incredible!
We spent most of our time on Obonjan Island, a 136- acre private island off the coast of Northern Dalmatia in Croatia. A mastermind group my husband is a member of rented the entire island, so about 150 of us had the island to ourselves for five days. There are too many highlights to mention, from learning about business from a highly curated group of some of the smartest and coolest people on the planet, to the epicness of glamping on a private island in the Adriatic Sea.
As an herbalist, I think what I was most excited about was that there is an abundance of medicinal herbs growing all over the island. There is an herb garden that may have once been tended, but now is taken over by the Mint (Mentha) that was used in some of the cocktails served at the sea-side and pool-side bars. All along the roadside, Bindweed (Convolvulus thunbergii), Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis), St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum), and Queen Anne’s Lace (Daucus carota), grow in abundance, adding beauty and color to the planted Allepo Pine (Pinus halepensis). The contrast of pink, yellow and white flowers with the vibrant blue of the Adriatic filled me with joy everywhere I looked.
As always I am reminded that no matter where I go, my herbal allies are there. They are a reminder that their are no borders, no boundaries, nothing that separates us from one another. Plants remind us that we are home, regardless of where we are.
To find out more about herbalism through my blog, podcast, and other offerings, check out my website, Baker Botanica.
I am completely blissed out and blessed up from the Northern California Women’s Herbal Symposium!!It’s hard to describe a place that is so sacred that I tear up every time I think about it. I first attended back in the late 90’s (’98 I believe…) and have been able to return several times over the last two decades. It is at the top of the list of things I must do as often as I can! The symposium keeps me connected, keeps me hopeful, and keeps me sane. The aura that surrounds the symposium is palpable, infused with love, wisdom, and ritual. Altars to various female deities are auspiciously and beautifully arranged and a sacred fire remains lit in the center of the tipi circle. The magnificence of Black Oak Ranch is undeniable, but it is the magic weaved by the women that create the symposium that encompasses you. It is that feeling that keeps you coming back for more.
The symposium is so special to me that I don’t even want to talk about my experiences teaching or attending. Words can’t do justice to how beautiful the Maiden Ceremony is or how sweet the graduation for the boys that age out can be. My gratitude for the campfire songs and my river spot will have to wait until the spell of symposium has worn off and words replace revelry in my soul.
Thank you, thank you, thank you, for another opportunity to be loved, to be transformed and to be uplifted. Your presence is a gift!
I hope once day you’ll join us.
Merry Meet, Merry Part, Merry Meet Again. Until next time.
Road trips, herb classes, and camping are three of my favorite things. As I pack for my trip this weekend, I am reminded of how blessed I am. I can freely travel wherever and whenever I choose. I do not take this life for granted.
Currently, my energy is high as I pack up my car. That’s the beauty of car camping — I bring all my cozy things.
On the road, I love to roll down the windows, crank the tunes and belt out my favorite songs. To keep me alert and focused, I also love this spritzer.
Recipe: Keep On Movin’ Spray
Ingredients: 1-ounce lemon verbena hydrosol 1-ounce spring water 8 drops peppermint essential oil (spearmint is yummy too) 6 drops Mandarin essential oil 3 drops lemongrass
Mix ingredients in a 2-ounce glass spritzer bottle.
Keep it in your cooler for extra relief on a hot day!