I Have Been Invited Into a Dance by a Bush with Purple Berries20 December, 2017
Today I thought about ripeness. How do you know when it’s just right? Well, it’s different for every plant I guess. With blueberries I’m learning to evaluate ripeness based on sight (colour of berry) and touch (firmness when gently squeezed). When I first started picking them, just two weeks ago, I only used my eyes and thus tended to pick unripe, tangy berries. Now I get 'em when they’re oh-so-sweet! In the last few days I’ve also started to notice the rate at which the berries ripen and can time my future visits more precisely.
The more time I spend with these plants, and the more patient I become, the more fully I come to appreciate their being. So this is then one way to form relationships (and sometimes friendships) with plants: visit them regularly, use all your senses to engage and be patient. I reckon the same approach might work with humyns ;)
If you ever hang out with herbalists around plants, you’ll probably find they’re very multi-sensory and active in their engagement. Smell the plant, taste it, rub it on your skin; all the more modalities to experience with. This is good to practice, just don’t go and eat all the poisonous stuff. Connecting with knowledgeable people is helpful: they can introduce you to some plants you might want to get to know better while also advising you to steer clear of some others.
On a somewhat related note: I’m making friends with The Jinj, a neighbourhood cat of the orange variety.