A female elk without antlers launched herself into my truck last night in my dreams. She was very adamant about coming with me and my partner even though we told her she cannot come into the vehicle. She persisted. Eventually we had no choice and surrendered to her presence.
The Elk (Wapiti) carries a message of strength, stamina, protective of family, and balancing time with genders other than your own. They represent a five year cycle when by the fifth year you will have hit your stride.
This makes me think back to 2015 when I launched a business as an herbalist and faced fears of financial failure while leaving all other employment. I began making medicines and ghee, selling them at farmers markets, and building a foundation rooted in healing ourselves and our connection to Nature.
I remember saying, “I want to be a healer that people come to see when they need support getting back to their roots.”
The last five years has been about networking, community building, practicing skills, and learning through experience. Last year was rather difficult because it was the end of a 5 year cycle. I was leaving a relationship, home, and solid community that I imagined would always be the same no matter what happened. Yet, everything is always changing so I had to ride the waves of loss, fear, doubt, questioning my purpose and place in the world.
I knew that bringing products to farmers markets and festivals across the State would not be sustainable. I hired help, but the logistics and cash flow were challenging. My body ached. My mind couldn’t rest. I had to learn to say “No” and ask for help. I persevered as gracefully as I could.
Yet, deep down, my heart longed for something else. I wanted a life founded in peace, connection to land, rooted in a home that I could tend and make beauty. I had been the gypsy medicine woman long enough. My root chakra was ready to plant itself somewhere it could grow more fully.
That’s when Spirit (and amazing friends) guided me to a house on three acres in Ashfield, MA. Very quickly, the home moved into my hands as an “owner.” And, it is exactly what I always envisioned. Land to garden, raise small livestock, host workshops and retreats, invite family and friends for dinner parties. I still wake up every day humbled by the gift of this home, wondering how all this happened so fast?
I look back 5 years and think of all my teachers, mentors, and friends who supported me every step of the way.
Jade Alicandro Mace
Nate Kraus -Mallet
Grandma & Grandpa Hardy
Mom, Dad, Leah
If you’re not on this list and you’re reading this…you’re here 🙂
I look back and remember all the gifts they have taught me:
A good sense of humor
How to make a home you love being in
Infinity Energy Healing
Positional Release Therapy Neuromuscular Technique
Knowing when to let go
Facing fears head on
Not taking oneself too seriously
The Beauty Way
Thank you all so much for the gifts you have given me. Aho Migwetch. Humbly, I say thank you. I bow to you.
Now, from where I sit, the green baby leaves have pushed out of their buds, awakening to a new season. The fresh growth reminds me of the antlers on the elk, falling and regrowing. My antlers are returning back to the Earth on this 33rd year around the sun. They have served me so well, I thank them.
What comes next for the 5 years ahead? No way of really knowing, but I pray to continue Walking in Beauty, the Dine (Navajo) saying which is about walking on the earth in love, compassion, reverence, and peace for all beings.
This blog has served me so well in the past 10 years, but now I must let it go, composting, adding fertility for what will grow next.
Thank you for reading, seeing me, hearing me, blessing me.
I begin a new blog next month and will send you a message with a link. “Farming for Justice” was appropriate in college when I was learning to farm and studying environmental justice, but now, I know that justice is only handed to us by Great Spirit. We cannot dispense justice. True peace lies in our hearts ability to forgive and let go.
What I can see from the mountain top (my writing chair) is the next 5 years will be devoted to deepening the medicine ways through prayer, sweat lodges, healing, teaching, forgiving, and stewarding the land the way Spirit intends. I also want to be a doula for end of life, so if you know of any one who mentors around this, send me their way. I want to assist people in dying well, dying in beauty.
I hope you will join me on the journey of living well during this gift of life on Earth we have been generously given!
All my love,
Hannah (& the goats)