[permaculture] OT Costa Rica: communing with plants...

fdnokes at hotmail.com fdnokes at hotmail.com
Sun Dec 13 19:13:59 EST 2009

One of the most amazing visits we had in Costa Rica was from Frank Cook, master herbalist.
His stated mission was to meditate with every plant species he could on all continents.
(Or something to that effect)
He came as part of a tour, to the farm where we were staying, and spoke about many, many plants that he saw. 
He said he had learned them by families, and spoke of that as well.
He knew of their uses, where they like to grow, their interactions, but mainly their structural features by which to recognize them and how they serve humans.
Notice the term is meditate, not talk...

It's interesting when you look into it, and people speak of this other way of knowing...
How so much information about plants and foods would not have come merely through trial and error, but came through meditation.
That plants actually 'tell' humans how to use them...

And it's an honour and a privilege to meet someone like Frank who dedicated his life to this pursuit.
Sadly, he is no longer with us.
I am fortunate to have met him.

On our way back, we met a friend of his in Virginia. His specialty was trees. He was very attuned to them. Also a lover of lichens.  I imagine that he could strike up a good conversation about specification which was mentioned by Tripp recently, and which I have yet to find my way into.
But, he just had a way of appreciating trees. And would spend time with them.

It's a different world, isn't it?

One I am glad to know about, and in my own way, and in my own time, participate in.

I would not get along well with the 'alcoholic farmer' paradigm, but this other paradigm, of relating more fully and appreciatively to nature, does attract me. After all, we spend hours watching movies, t.v., internet, music... Why not  'nature straight'.

And as to this list, it doesn't matter if you're a hard working farmer who likes to drink, I can get along with you just fine, cause I don't have to live with you, and am not overwhelmed by your personal presence.

Hope you catch my drift, if you're still reading...


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