Saturday, May 23, 2009

Cultural Guide

fieldtrip004, originally uploaded by sulustumoses.

While our small student group explored the camas fields, another larger group arrived from Finch Elementary. We hadn't planned to meet any other people, but the moment was perfect. "Coincidentally," they had come to the same place to learn about Native plants and joined our group just as I was explaining the cultural significance of camas. I got to act as a cultural guide for many more people than I ever expected, and the new group was just as interested. They snapped pictures with their cameras and asked questions.

In that moment, a man arrived with a video camera to make a small documentary for Community-Minded Television and filmed most of my talk. By that point I began to wonder if some Higher Power coordinated this surprise meeting of people.


Oklahoma Girl said...

There are no coincidences.

I am so enjoying your Nature series. I have been working my way backward from the latest post. I am in awe of your knowledge. I wish I knew Native Plants better, but my passion is with the four-leggeds. But I would love to be better versed in herbs for both cooking & healing.

blessed be...

Barry Moses (Sulustu) said...

I agree; there are no coincidences. That's why the word appears in quotation marks. I'm curious, however. What word should we use to replace it?

As for plant knowledge, I work from the assumption that individuals and communities are more healthy when they live in relationship with the land spaces, animals, and plants of the region they inhabit. Like any relationship, we begin by learning the names and characterstics of the beings around us. Just start with something that catches your interest or appeals to you in some way. Find out the name; find out the traditional use; talk to others who know that species. In time, your knowledge will deepen and grow.


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