I had become familiar with the beautiful passionflower in dried form earlier this summer. Its nervine and analgesic properties were a win-win when looking for a plant to treat so many of the physical symptoms I experienced due to an injury. But I longed to meet her in the wild, face to face. Some time went by, and I continued to ingest the plant as a tea, until I was on a retreat in the mountains late in the summer. I was lying in the grass and looked over, and there, trellising upward was. Unaware but beside me the whole time. I just watched as the bees danced on the petals, noticing their delicate but insistent touch. It would appear that passionflower wanted more than just a one-night-stand because two weeks ago she showed up on my street trellising on a Rose of Sharon, to beat all. On a late afternoon walk, while in the middle of a particularly difficult conversation, there she was providing comfort again. I enjoyed seeing her rambunctious nature, but I knew I was not to pick any flowers to make my own tea but oh I wanted to. I thought perhaps that time was up as the hot heat of summer waned. I continued to visit but there were no more flowers left. There is a knowing about plants, a non-language language of their world that invites all, wherever you’re at in life. As I have begun to trust more of their intelligence, my desire to own and capture has diminished. Often it’s enough to just be in their wild, welcoming presence. In the end? I was welcomed to harvest dried petals and sepals hanging behind bulging fruit, in a perfect state for making tea, and one beautiful bloom to share. I am left with the question “what impulses reside behind my fruit?”
Ambition or devotion?
To me, the motivation matters just as much as the outcome. This question has come to me in middle age, and I contemplate the ego based motivation I have forced on myself and my children. I wish I could have contemplated it sooner but I don’t think I would have had the honesty to handle the answer.