Jump into a mental exercise with me for a moment.
Imagine all of your duties and responsibilities for tomorrow suddenly vanished, and you were left with a whole glorious day to yourself, free to do or not do whatever you please. No animals or people you have to care for, no to-do list, no job to go to, no chores to do, no need for any kind of productivity, nothing at all that must be done.
What would I do?
I would begin by waking up when the sun wakes me up, instead of waiting for some horrible beeping sound to jolt me out of a lovely dream. I’m an early riser naturally, so this might just mean waking up to the hint of the sun at 5:30 or 6am, but doing so by my own choice instead of by an alarm can sometimes make all the difference in starting the day off on the right foot.
Then I would spend some time stretching, showing care for my body and preparing for being active throughout the day. Note that I hardly EVER do this, this is just what I would like to think I would do if I had the time and no obligations to be anywhere or do anything first thing in the morning.
Then I would gather eggs from our beautiful hens, and make myself an amazing breakfast along with some hand-blended Echinacea and Yarrow tea, with some Rose Hip and Ginger Elixir stirred in. Cold weather preventatives, dont’cha know.
After eating I would pack up a basket with food and supplies for the day, finding a willing friend (or four) to come along, and I would head up into the mountains for a day of harvesting wild herbs. Some of the most valuable medicine for chronic and minor conditions comes from nature. After all, that is where we began making medicines from in the first place, before labs started making synthetic ones! And who can turn down a fun-filled day of hiking?
Of course, if the day were truly free of duties, I would be sure to drive slow on my way to said hike, and take the leisurely and pretty route through some amazing scenery. I might even stop on the side of the road a few times for no reason at all, just to look around.
I would look for my many herbal friends, this time of year including stinging nettle, dandelions, salal, willow, and so many others. I think that spending time with the plants in nature, learning not only to identify them but also to see how they grow, is what turns an aspiring herbal medicine-maker into an accomplished and confident herbalist.
Oh, and cheese—I would be eating lots and lots of delicious goat cheese, havarti, aged cheddar, and so on. And of course some warm homemade bread. Because we’re talking about the perfect day here, right?
All the while, I would be getting in an amazing range of movement, through the exercise of hiking and climbing and reaching and breathing the mountain air, and would be improving my own wellness before I even think about making therapies with the plants! How amazing is that!? Who needs to be a hamster on a treadmill in a stinky gym when you can walk about in the freshness of nature like we were meant to do.
I would probably try to fit in some fishing on this wildcrafting excursion, not because I need to but because I love to fish whether I catch anything or not. Although, I have been known to catch a mean salmon when they’re running.
I would draw my day to a close with a bonfire full of good laughs, good food, good friends, good stars to gaze at, and so many dreams of the future. Dreams of the future are the currency of the inspired, and I refuse to ever stop dreaming about where this life will take me.
What about you?
If you had a day all to yourself, with zero responsibilities, what exactly would you do and who would you spend it with? I feel this is an amazing mental exercise to help you realize what you actually could be doing with your days, rather than what you feel you should be doing with them.
You’re never going to be on your death bed wishing you’d worked more hours at the office or mopped your floors cleaner or kept your kids dressed as cutely as the neighbors, but you just might regret not going for more walks with the ones you love, not telling someone how you really felt about them, or not spending enough time enjoy the beauty of nature.
Try closing your eyes and taking this mental journey with me. See what you learn about yourself that you didn’t already know. Maybe your deepest desire is to spend your perfect day with a person you wouldn’t expect. Maybe you never get to see them. Maybe you should give them a call. Or maybe your longing is to spend your perfect day right in your own yard, tending to it. And maybe you never do. Maybe you need to step out your own back door.
Let your dreams do the talking.
Here are some amazing Nettle recipes to get you excited about the harvest season that’s just getting started!
Nettle Pesto Recipe (from my amazing Herbal Mentor, Suzanne Jordan!)