I really enjoyed last week’s visit to the farm because it was so interesting learning about the herb garden with Richard. I was feeling somewhat stressed last week because I had several midterms and papers to work on, but when we were at the farm I felt so peaceful. I especially appreciated the mindful meditation that Richard led; it was clear that it put everyone at ease and gave us a space to let our worries fade away. During the breathing exercises I liked visualizing my feet as trees roots in the ground soaking up all of the energy from the earth, then slowly visualizing the energy moving up my legs, to my stomach, to my arms, to my chest, to my head with each breath I took. I also liked how Richard highlighted that it is important to return this energy to the earth again, and I thought that was really beautiful and something that too many people forget in our society. Our earth continually gives and gives, yet we continually forget to give back.
After the group breathing exercise we walked around the herb garden and chose a plant to sit, breathe, and connect with. I chose the Jojoba plant, because I recognized the name as being one of the main ingredients in a lot of the lotions and hair products that I use. I use products with jojoba every day, yet I had no idea what the plant looked like until that trip to the farm, which showed me how truly disconnected I am from my food systems and the ingredients that I use on my skin every day. That is another aspect of the farm that I think is really important, it makes you realize the care and time that goes into yielding us foods and other ingredients that we usually take for granted as they are sold at our local grocery store. For me personally, the farm is a space where we can connect with the earth and ourselves and something that should be integral to this community.
I thought the lesson on the herb garden was especially interesting as it brought the purpose of the readings to life. When I say it brought the readings to life I mean, you can see the benefits of an herb garden for its spiritual as well as physical properties. Richard explained that many of the herbs in the garden can not only be used in cooking but also be used to heal illnesses. The fact that our earth not only nourishes us but provides us with the ingredients for healing is something that is so special and easily taken for granted with the age of prescription drugs and big pharma. In conclusion, I had a fantastic day at the farm listening to Richard and feeling the sunshine on my face, and taking the time to breathe and check in with myself. I am thankful that the Gill tract is such an inviting place that can illicit such tranquility in its visitors!