Sep 132013
 

PreConference Greetings!

Sorry about the repeat posting on the Medicine Woman’s Roots blog regarding the Interviews book, it seems WordPress randomly decided to republish an announcement from last April (Note: technology, experts and government – 3 things we’re told to trust instead of ourselves!).

Preparations for the Herbal Resurgence Finale continue at a breathtaking pace.  By the the time the first of you arrive on Sept 19th, the last task will have been tended to and a wonderful event will be ensured.  It’s a happy thing how many folks are coming, and how very excited everyone is to be either getting ready for the trip or else are already on their way.  It will be awhile before Kiva’s next post, and she’ll be off FaceBook and unavailable for emails again until the 20th.  If you are just now hearing about this unique event for herbalists, go to the website for full info and registration:  www.HerbalResurgence.org

The Southwest’s monsoons are predicted to come to a close shortly before the conference, with sun forecast for the four days we are at Mormon Lake, Arizona.

The water has been a huge blessing in what has been an extended drought, lasting longer than they have in recent years.  The vast array of plant life in this botanical and wildlife sanctuary are surely as happy as plants can be, and all seem to swollen with vitality and joy as the afternoon’s provide their daily life-giving rains.  Many parts of the canyon bottom are too thick with growth to pass through.  Below are some of our verdant river willows, next to one of our United Plant Savers boundary signs.

Anima Botanical Sanctuary, NM

Anima Botanical Sanctuary, NM

photo by jesse wolf hardin

The monsoons have, of course, made for quite an adventure when it comes to getting as many of the conference supplies and merchandise from the Sanctuary to where our vehicle is now parked.

I took the next photo from our little cabin homes/studios/offices, facing Northeast..

Anima Sanctuary

The normally no more than knee-high San Francisco River has been varying between thigh deep and chest deep for the past six weeks or so.  Kiva, Loba and our little (ok, not so little anymore!) Rhiannon have made multiple trips with backpacks full of Plant Healer books, office supplies and gifts bags for the conference attendees.  Folks should feel they can count on our dedication to making the Plant Healer events happen no matter what the obstacles!  :)

If we weren’t carrying anything it would be nothing but fun to bob about, swept downstream as we make for the other shore, a river playground more than a problem.  But without being able to get a four-wheel-drive out, all food has to come in on our backs, and all conference goodies go out the same way.  In this image, Kiva and Rhiannon study the river from right below our cabins, wondering if the boat will be needed.

Kiva & Rhiannon - Anima Sanctuary

Kiva & Rhiannon – Anima Sanctuary

Packs are carried down the cliff from the mesa-top cabins to the river’s edge.  When the waters are low and slow enough we hoist the packs above our heads and carefully feel for soft spots and holes so that nothing we’re carrying gets soaked and ruined.  By the time the river reaches up to our crotches, it is often moving too swiftly to stay upright, and we opt instead to ferry the pack across in our inflatable kayak.

Rhiannon, Loba & Kiva in high water

Fording the San Francisco River, NM, with conference supplies.

Fording the San Francisco River, NM, with conference supplies.

Crossing the river seems like the easy part once we start up the mountain to the van, a steep mile long climb on a narrow deer trail through the ponderosas.  The view, however, is spectacular, witnessing the mists from the rain soaked canyon rising in spectral clouds that glint with all the colors of the rainbow as the sun reflects on their drifting particles.  From the top, we can see miles in several directions.  From one short stretch the road we can even see the tiny cabins of Anima Sanctuary far below, appearing not isolated but nested, insulated, protected by the vast forested wilderness we can see surrounding it and the winding river that seems to serve as a moat holding at bay any forces of destruction.

Anima Wilderness Sanctuary – AnimaCenter.org

Anima Wilderness Sanctuary – AnimaCenter.org

The above shot is from the sacred cliffs downriver from the Sanctuary which can be seen below the Gila Wildlands lettering.  The retreats and workshops are not currently being offered, so busy are we with our books, magazine and events.

The next photo below is taken of the seventh crossing (counted from the nearest vehicle access the mouth of the canyon).

Our county and the feds have argued about whether or not this should be called a “road.”  You decide.

River Crossing 72dpi

Herbalist and friend Juliet Blankespoor visited us with her husband and daughter shortly before the last rising of the river, and soon we’ve been expecting a visit from Rhiannon’s dear pen pal Caille from North Carolina.  She will hopefully be staying with Rhiannon while Kiva and I are at the conference, having the kinds of magical experiences that this place provides… and that young’ns are often best at opening up to.

As always, any difficulties that come this homesteading lifestyle seem like a small price to pay for living the finite days of our lives in the lap of the real and natural world that is our home, our teacher, our context and inspiration.  We’ll love bringing the incredible Herbal Resurgence Rendezvous to the wild folk healer tribe, but we’ll sure miss this sacred enlivened canyon while we’re gone.

Wild blessings to you all, from Kiva, myself and our family.

–Wolf

Kiva & Rhiannon sept2013 72pi

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