This week my grandmother passed away, and of course I thought of the past and our experiences together as I was growing up. She was my first exposure to plants – although she wasn’t an herbalist, she had a great affinity for flowers and being out in the garden, rain or shine. She was always so quiet sitting with them; she tended to them every day and called them her babies. I still do the same thing.
Right before she passed, I had watched this documentary on the herbalist Juliette de Bairacli Levy called Juliette of the Herbs, something about her oddly reminded me of my grandmother – even though my own was not so educated, there was still so much she gave me through her presence, similarly to Juliette. Juliette was a teacher to one of my teachers and she pioneered some of the first veterinary herbal medicine literature. She is truly an inspiration and a legend in the herbal community.
If you have a little time, this is a sweet documentary about this gypsy woman’s life – it reminds me of reconnecting with simple living but with an adventurous spirit and the importance of our connections to the plants that surround us and how they can heal us. It is worth the thought – who and what are you learning from? Taping into the deep wisdom of our elders, and the nature around us is imminently important in this world now where technology rules our lives.
To Juliette, who passed away in 2009, thank you for your teachings and that so many years later, we still continue to learn from you. To my grandmother, who taught me the importance of a listening heart, rest in peace.