Travels (Travails?) of a Witchy Herbalist

I’m back. At least my body is sitting at my desk. I’m not too sure where my brain is.

This trip was a most interesting experience. For the first time in decades of air travel (including internationally), my bag wasn’t on the same flight I was on.  No, the Comfrey charm I place in all my luggage didn’t fail. Delta knew where the bag was, so it wasn’t lost. It just didn’t make the tight connection in Phoenix. (It apparently had to go farther than the three gates I had to walk?) It was finally delivered to the hotel at 4:45pm the next day. Now I know the agony many others have experienced of not having any of your stuff when you’re miles away from home. The next time I travel, I’m going to add a magical tether so my luggage arrives with me.

Gambling isn’t my thing so I’ve never had occasion to visit a casino … until now. Our hotel is also a huge casino. Two square blocks of gambling and noise. Constant music blaring from loudspeakers wasn’t pleasant to ears accustomed to only bird & squirrel chatter. I had to walk through a cacophony of not only music but gamblers’ emotions to breakfast early each morning (with only one cup of lousy in-room coffee ingested). It was enough to set one’s teeth on edge. I was very glad when my luggage arrived and I had my own things to help with shielding.

Thankfully, the landscaping included three very large fountains with park benches around them. I found a few moments each day to sit and allow the sound of the water to soothe me. The gardeners probably thought I was nuts – or maybe not. I doubt I’m the first to sit on a bench & close my eyes. They probably did think I was crazy, though, as I talked to one particular crow each day. I’m not sure why he chose me (haven’t had time to do the necessary research & thinking) but he gifted me with a feather which now graces my desk as a reminder of …?

Working a fencing tournament means long days on your feet with few breaks. I drank a lot of water. (I normally do anyway, but Reno is high desert – it really is a dry heat and although quite pleasant to the lizard in me, is considerably drier than I’m accustomed to.) I also massaged Arnica cream into my legs each day. Arnica is a topical anti-inflammatory specific to keeping blood flowing for things such as phlebitis and bruising. While not specific for overuse of muscles, good blood flow helps everything and I’ve found it quite useful when doing a lot of walking & standing. I always bring it with me to tournaments.

For the first time that I can remember, we didn’t fly out immediately after taking down & packing up the equipment on the last day – we left the following morning. That gave four of us a few hours to drive up to Lake Tahoe. The lake is spectacular but the view on the way up is what impressed me.

We stopped several times to admire, take pictures (my cellphone only takes so-so photos), and walk around. At one of our stops, there was a small cluster of beautiful purplish flowers, seemingly growing out of solid rock. It is Clarkia biloba and is only found in the Sierra Nevada mountains. It’s a member of the Evening Primrose family and quite a happy little thing.

My friends are all just as much nature-lovers as I, so they didn’t think it strange when I plopped my butt down on a rock and stared. (I was listening, too.) After ten days of brown desert, the view made me homesick! Especially since the trees near the road were grumpy. I guess I would be, too, if I had to filter all that car exhaust all the time.

I am quite glad to be back in my woods … quiet, greener and un-grumpy trees.


PS The US took 12 of 12 gold medals at the tournament (Pan-Am Zonal Championships). So proud of our kids!