When I dreamed of having kids, there were many things I was hoping to teach them and a few things that I hoped they would take from me naturally : My love of nature, my need to create, my sense of optimism and my absolute LOVE of learning.
I was always one of those kids that was happy when summer vacation would arrive, but was truly done with it after a few weeks. Buying my school supplies was the thrill of my life. And as I grew older, it just got better. In high school and college, I would spend hours thumbing through new textbooks, anticipating lessons. That is right, I was one of those annoying eager students that actually DID the recommended additional readings.
When I finally stopped school after University (in Quebec, college and University are two different things), I couldn’t quite handle it. After a few months, I felt stale, like time had stopped. My brain felt cloudy, the “real world” wasn’t really as challenging. Before long, I felt like a slug, creeping across the floor of my apartment. This couldn’t be it.
I went online.
Before long, I was browsing online learning programs offered by my old University and ended up enrolling in a horticultural introductory course. They were studying plant biology, etymology, life cycles, it was truly fascinating. Now that I think about it, it was the start of a love affair with plants. It opened the door to gardening, to bonsai art, wild crafting, foraging and finally, to herbal studies.
I enrolled in my Intermediate Herbal Course from the Herbal Academy of New England this week-end. The curriculum is so exciting. They are expecting a much more in dept participation this year : Creating your own Materia Medica (herbal monographs), filling out “recipe reports” after trying the various recipes, participation in online discussions through the student forums and much more. The introductory class was amazing, but this really feels like school and I’m just giddy!
I had shared before how always learning was how I stayed young, but now, I’m seeing this next step as the start of a life for us. Who knows, maybe something to aspire too later as a career, when the kiddos are full-grown.
And through it all, I just might be getting my wish : Watching my daughter pick red clover, yarrow and St John’s wort, coming home and drying them, speaking of her magical potions, offering borage flowers and oxalis leaves to taste to anyone that enters our yard. Through all this, I am passing on my love of learning, my love of the natural world, the desire to create and my love for this life we live.