Thursday, June 9, 2022

As the Land Heals, The Heart Heals

Last year, at this time, it seemed like everything was dying. It was a true season of death. From people and animals I held dear, to the land itself, made to endure scorching hot June temperatures and drought; it seemed that the only things surviving were weeds and despair.

But this year is different. It is colder, and it is wetter. The deprivation of the earth, its soil, is transformed and made soft with continuous showers. Healing plants, like dandelions, and mushrooms, even the bitterroot, a plant I have never seen grow on our land, sprout up everywhere, softening the soil, and giving succor to earth and living things. Like grass. Like horses. Like me.

Bitterroot. What a beauty. What a work of art. It is the Montana state plant, and is known as an herb with healing powers.

"This medicinal herb can be chewed as a cure for toothaches and sore throats, made into cough syrup, or placed on the hot stones in the sweatlodge to create a decongestant steam. This Native American herb can also be used by singers to keep their voices strong."

It is part of the succulent family.

It's a powerful symbol for me, this year of all years, because we hiked the Selway-Bitterroot as a family, long ago. Yet, I have never seen this flower until now. On one of those hikes, my dad was singing his way along the path, and we stopped to look out over the mountains.  It was quiet, so I looked over at my dad, and his face was completely lit up with something I'd never seen. To this day, I haven't seen it again, from anyone else. He said, Look Linda, you can see God. I looked, but only saw mountains. 

Since then, I have seen many beautiful sights, and they have filled me with wonder, but not like what I saw in him that day. It made me realize we might see God differently. 

This year, of all years, a precious flower called bitterroot, a plant that heals, a plant that gives you back your voice, maybe your soul, too...well, it magically appeared at my house. 

I take that as a bonafide miracle, a gift from my dad, wherever he is in this infinite multiverse.


  1. What a beautiful flower and meaningful occurrence!! Nature is where I feel spiritual. Sometimes I see mountains and other times I feel the mountains. I've had the ocean move me to tears more than once. I think everyones sees/feels god or their spirituality differently.

    1. I’m not sure how I see God, but I definitely feel something in my spirit stirring in nature. That feeling of wonder is very healing, and I’m always searching for it. The ocean, especially after a long absence, is absolutely, heart-stoppingly wondrous. I haven’t seen it since Covid, so I am speaking from another type of deprivation. I guess my understanding of the eternal / infinite / spiritual comes more from my relationships with animals, and the things I’ve seen through loving them, and losing them. If I were to say I’ve seen God at any time, it is through living beings. But no doubt, creation is a miracle of its own. It’s all connected.


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