Saturday, August 18, 2007

Sitting With Pineapple Weed

Pineapple Weed matricaria matricarioides

Kiva Rose is doing a write series talking with plants
This got me to thinking back. About my childhood, plants, nature, and it's role in my life. I often ran away to sit with plants. My childhood was very unstable and dysfunctional at times, with sprinkles of good times and memories. My parents divorced when I was only 2. My Mother and I were alone for about 3 more years until she met my Step Dad, I didn't have any brothers and sisters living with me until I was 15. I was not always the way I am now. I was very quiet & shy as a child. The reason I was quiet was I didn't want to say or do anything wrong. You see I thought if I was a good girl things may change for me, my Dad might come back, things would be better. I did not feel safe to talk with other adults. My Step Dad was a very odd type, I guess they have a name for it now, A personality with a side order of IED or intermittent explosive disorder I think is what it is called. He would be ecstatic and happy, people liked him, the kind of guy you like to have at parties one minute and the next he would be swinging and you had better get out of the way. OK maybe he was BI Polar as well. You just didn't feel safe. You walked on egg shells because you never knew what you were going to get. Is it the High funny guy or the Monster today. One day he would laugh at something you did wrong, and the next he was exploding over nothing. I was outside as much as possible. I would go to my Dad's every other weekend. He had an abusive girlfriend (basically the girl version of my step dad) who couldn't stand me.
I remember just getting out on my Dad's property, he had 5 acres of horse land with a few horses and a cow named curly. My Dad's girlfriend would say "what is it exactly that you do out there all day hum?" I didn't care. Sitting with the plants and talking with curly was my only escape. I would find a little hide away where I could sit and no one would bother me. Among the various "weeds" there was this lovely little plant I now know the name is pineapple weed. It smells lovely, a similar to chamomile, but it has it's own unique smell, once you have smelled it you will never forget it, soothing, understanding, calming. I would sit with it, feeling its soft, feather like leaves and taking in the gift of it's aroma. Spending my time studying every aspect of pineapple weed, I was not going back to the house. Hum, the leaves were slightly bitter, the flowers are little yellow, round, and smell lovely, I like to keep them in my pocket....
Well Pineapple weed seemed to show up when I need her. Always making me forget anything that was going on with her euphoric smell and bright yellow cylindrical shape flowers catching my eye.
It seemed whenever we got in the car with my mom and step dad there was a fight, getting out during one of these episodes I just started walking, what do you know there is my old friend pineapple weed. Tuning out the commotion I just sat with her for a while, everything was going to be OK.
Later as an herbalist I found that you could make a calming tea from pineapple weed and it's action was similar to chamomile, I already knew this of course because I spend days sitting with her.
Well when I hit adolescence the fear turned to rage. No one was holding me down. I was like a wild stallion that could not be broken. I spoke my mind, perhaps making up for all the time I kept my mouth shut. I rebelled. I drank and was gone with friends. There were little lapses in there where I would leave the camp site where the party was and go sit with the plants, yah everyone thought I was weird. After I got that out of my system, I returned to my calling and here I am the herbalist. I still sometimes want to run away, travel, take in all the learning and sites I can, I guess this is the girl in me craving the unstable but hopefully in a healthy way. I would not take back any of my experiences, if it were not for them I would not be the person I am today. OK that sounds cliche but it's true.
Picture source

1 comment:

Rebecca said...

Ah, yes, I spent plenty of time with this little Matricaria during my touch-and-go childhood. We called her Mayweed, though.