I have been promising my nettle patch a juicy, attention grabbing article for several seasons now. At the end of the harvest, as I am gathering the last, tall stalks in my arms, gently tying them upside down, singing and offering my gratitude for an abundant summer of nettle-filled delight…she quietly whispers her simple request in my ear, “love me, honor me, celebrate me, share me.”
What is holding me back? Is it, perhaps, an underlying insecurity that I could never completely do her chlorophyll laden, delicately teethed leaves, sweet and musty aroma proper justice…?
Or perhaps her virtues are too numerous to be counted in a single pen stroke – her persistent (and somewhat insistent) growing habits, the hundreds of baby sprouts popping up through the spring mud, her juicy and palate stimulating young tops, her very sexy seed tendrils swaying in the morning breeze enticing all buzzing, flying pollinators with her mysterious puffs of thick yellow smoke…and lest I forget to mention her tall, strong and proud stalks good for weaving fabrics and rejuvenating composts.
O, beloved nettle…where to begin? My mother has sung your praises all my life, and credits you with her radiant skin, her glowing hair, her bright shining eyes. Every mother sings of your virtues in restoring strength and stamina to the blood, the lymph, the adrenals and the endocrine systems.
Your avatar on earth may very well be the Green Goddess Susun Weed, who knows your seeds, your leaves and your roots like the back of her hand. She teaches all who will listen of your healing power, your good medicine. She shows us how to honor you, how to celebrate you, and how to share you.
Susun Weed knows you are a powerhouse of bio-active vitamins and minerals, readily assimilated calcium, magnesium, trace minerals, chlorophyll, iron, potassium, zinc, protein, B complex and carotenes – you are Mother Nature’s perfect multi-vitamin!
Sweet, gentle stinging nettle, you heal those with weak kidneys, you help those with diabetes, arthritis, and allergies. You nourish mother and baby from pre-conception through breast feeding, providing the most concentrated, nourishing blood and milk. You assuage my afternoon cravings, you balance my energy, you lift my spirits.
You teach me, above all, to pay attention, and I have finally learned from the amazing innocence of a 7 year old how to harvest your abundant blessings with my bare hands. (That’s a true story…a young girl visited my land with her mother and showed me how she gently grasps the stalk and cuts off the tops with her bare hands. She also enjoys my “NettleMe” seasoning by the spoonful!)
You have inspired much profound healing, and nourishing, and musing. How to express my gratitude for sharing your divine greenness with us lowly mortals? By returning your body to the earth, by singing to the soil, by laying your bare hands in the dirt and offering a prayer for a restful winter and for next year’s medicinal harvest.