August, that amazing month of time way that moves like a speeding train. I spent a wonderful, rejuvenating week in Hilton Head, SC with my hubby and daughter. I arrived home to my son visiting for two weeks. He is on leave from the Marine's before being deployed. I spent a day with my daughter shopping for school and turning her deep brown locks of hair into electric lizard green. You need to pick your battles and I figure this is a rather harmless rebellion. And though I am home physically I'm not sure I have fully arrived. And then we are off again. Well, my daughter and I are off to the New England Women's Herbal Conference.
It has become an annual pilgrimage. My beloved teacher introduced me to the conference ten years ago. The following year I brought my oldest daughter. When my youngest was old enough that I didn't need to watch her every second I included her as well. The girls enjoyed one conference together before my oldest flew the nest. This will be my youngest's sixth conference. It has been inspiring to watch her grow at this event.
This conference feeds my soul in ways I just can't fully describe. I am surrounded by women interested in herbs that I can talk with, share with and learn from. I get to take class after class with teachers from around the world. I can meet the authors of the books I devoured. I get to see that they are as human as I am. I play and explore and come home with a renewed fire inside. I reconnect with friends I have made over this past decade. And I truly mean friends not just acquaintances. The music, the dancing, the shopping, the learning, the connecting, the laughter, the tears... the bathroom parties, the long dinner lines visiting, the million little things, the sharing all of this with my daughter... all of these and more nourish me on a deep level.
The conference also signals the end of summer break. School has started, the schedule slows a little and I will be drinking in the autumn abundance before the winter hibernation. I will be in my studio more often. Regular Sunday hours will be back. Classes will be scheduled. New ideas will make manifest. Ashe, Ashe!