Learning about something new, and bettering yourself, is always so exciting. I feel like when I actually try, and care about something, my happiness level increases. I have been feeling down lately, mostly because of the cold, but I can combat that by learning more about foraging.
In the summer of 2012 I foraged for the first time. I hadn't really known enough before that and it was slowly introduced to me more and more. I went outside. I sat in a sunny field and looked at the world around me. I enjoyed the sun on my back and bugs near my face. I threw away all my taught preconceptions about life and the way that we should live it. It became harder and harder for me to go into a grocery store and purchase food. Everything lacked luster and something about it felt dirty. The more food I ate from the ground, the better my body felt. I craved those things. It made me feel alive and truly happy, deep down inside.
I attended a foraging walk, purchased for me by a friend. I won't name names, but the person who held the walk seemed to have sold out. They talked about their "app" every 7 minutes and made sure to scold someone else for bringing a book written by another author. They failed to let people know when something was poisonous, simply mentioning it in passing. But what really got to me was the size of the group. There were at least 50 people there. How on earth can anyone take home information, actually retaining it and applying it to their daily lives, when they didn't hear what that plant was that was held up from 20 feet away?
It frustrated me and infuriated me. I know at some point in their lives, the guide had passion for this. Perhaps living in a major city and holding thousands of these walks wore away the passion and sparkle of it all. It truly made me want to have my own small walks and make sure that everyone got attention and learned to love each plant. It's not so much about getting to know a plant but also coming together as humans. The social aspect of walking through the woods has eluded many of us, as we shelter ourselves in our homes with the light of our televisions.
I have been studying and learning since then, excited for my chance this spring to take my friends and their friends, and their friends friends on walks. Come with me into the woods. Follow me in the fields. I promise that you will feel, deep inside, what your modern life has been missing.