With years of study and experience, I came here to teach them.
I came to bring them knowledge of Jesus, plant medicine and honeybees.
I am welcomed no matter that my skin is lighter,
No matter that my Spanish makes them laugh.
I enter their door and I am home.
They allow me to hold their children
Whose eyes tell me someone loves them.
They meet me with Christ-like mercy, grace and love
Twenty-one women, one man, and five young children (three of them nursing babies)
We spend two days studying healing foods and herbs.
We drink Hibiscus infusions, read Dr. Rivera’s facts on Dandelion, Chamomile and Lavender.
We make tinctures, pills and salve from Rosemary Gladstar’s classic instructions
And eat Rosa’s healing chicken soup for lunch.
They empty the bags and boxes of knowledge I brought from home
Carry away samples of plant medicines we have made
And fill me with their knowing.
They bring “Albahaca Sagrada” (Holy Basil) in a pot,
Cut open fresh coconut that fell from the tree,
Make Calala (Passionflower) juice from fruit I bought in the market,
Place Cacao pods in my hand from a tree in the yard,
Break Moringa leaves and Noni fruit from low-hanging branches,
Describe how Jicaro is used to make a drink for nursing mothers,
Explain how honey heals disease of eyes and pain from birthing babies, and
Show me “Nannotrigona Perilampoides” stingless honeybees in the concrete wall nearby.
They change my life forever.
When I return to them, I will go empty with a blank book
I will listen to their stories of healing foods and herbs
And how they came to understand the love of God.
I have so much to learn.
Patricia Tanner Candal