Updated: Sep 20, 2022
Lavender, oh lavender why do you forsake me I would love to bask in your loveliness as all others say But each time we meet you sink me to the ground where you leave me Athena Herder
When we first met, everyone was so happy passing you around in a little bottle. All I heard was how lovely you are and so many other happy and nice things about you. Then it came to my turn to hold and experience you, it wasn’t pleasant, do you remember it? I took a whiff, your heavy floral scent when into my nose and my head started spinning. I passed you back not understanding how anyone liked that experience.
It wasn’t but a few years later I found myself volunteering with my 3-year-old son at the Tacoma Children’s Museum. We walked into the newly remodeled museum happy to have such a gem so close to home and with a train ride to get there too. It was an awesome morning both of us were excited about the fun in store. As we walked in, I smelt a funny but familiar smell, I shook it off since I couldn’t place it. Over the next hour, we played country store but with each passing minute, I got a little more lightheaded.
After a bit, I was able to convince my boy the back of the museum could also use our help hoping that being closer to the bathroom would help in case this lightheadedness became morning sickness since I was pregnant. It did lessen and I started to feel ok again so of course agree when my son wanted to finish or time back in the country store. That’s when I noticed it, a flower box-looking thing on the outside of the country store. It was a smelling box, where you lift the lids and smell them and guess what is in each. My son, notice this too and started opening each box.
When he got to box number 3 and opened it, my knees gave out and I had to sit down. I was dizzy and shaky; I started to panic since I had forgotten to bring food with me, and I felt like I was crashing. Our time was up so, I told my son it was time to go, and he was good with it but wanted me to tell him what was in each box first. I did so and box 3 was you, Lavender.
I could barely stand up or walk at this point, but I kept telling myself that if I could just get us home, all would be ok. I got just out the front door before I couldn’t anymore and to the ground, I went. The ladies in the museum freaked out and came to help. I explained that I have low blood sugar and just need a few minutes to regain myself.
It was about a year or two later before we would meet again, this time I received a medicine-making kit from Learning Herbs, and a little bottle of you was included. I was so happy to be learning this craft and at the time no one told me you should know the plants you are working with even if it is considered a “safe” herb. So, I jumped right in and started with the healing salve. It was such an amazing experience to craft this wonderful healing salve.
At the end of the process, it told me to put a bunch of drops of you into the salve, and I did. Within moments I was lightheaded and dizzy but this time I remembered the Children’s Museum experience and thought “this is the same feeling” but again I wrote it off. A few days later a friend was over, and someone got a scrape which sent me to grab the new healing salve. When I offered it, she noticed you, lavender, on the label and told me “Can’t use it, it lowers blood pressure and mine is already too low, but thank you”. When I heard this, I thought “oh my goodness, really” because I too have low blood pressure and I tend to sink when you are in play.
Time passed and I stayed as far away from you as I could since I had learned my lesson, or I thought. But four years went by, I moved across the country and wasn’t around the herbal community for a while. I was starting to get back into studying herbs when a friend asked if I knew how to make a healing salve since they planned to make a blood pact that required cutting their palms. I found the recipe that came in the kit years ago, set her off to find the herb and stuff. We met back and my house to craft the salve. We made enough for both of us.
Later that night, I decided that my hands and arms were so soft from playing with the salve all day that I would put it all over me. Not a good idea, I had forgotten about our continuous relationship, but you hadn’t. 30 minutes later, I couldn’t move from the couch. I was dizzy and not sure where I was or what was really happening. I managed with help to go shower and get all of you off of me, but it still took a day of sleeping to be ok again.
Over the last 9 years, I have been very careful around you, normally avoiding you as much as possible which isn’t easy in the herbal world. We have had chance encounters over this time but none that has hit me as hard as our last meeting, until last night.
I had been looking forward to the Steam Distillation and Spagyrics class I enrolled in. It was already like a dream since the location was right off the delta, the sun was setting and shining through the large window into the room we met in. As if that wasn’t dreamy enough all the alchemy glass was set up along the walls with something already distilling.
I started feeling lightheaded and dreamy within minutes but just thought was from the full experience, and it was just not the way I was thinking. I took a seat and happened to be right next to the door which was open most of the time. It was but a few minutes later that someone asked what was distilling and the answer? Yep, LAVENDER! Great, let’s see how this works out for us.
As the night progressed, I realized I was losing more and more touch with reality and that things were becoming more and more like a dream. It was so magical with all the information I have been looking for and craving but more of a dream than a reality. To the point that I’m not really sure that last night really happened and I do not remember anything I said or did, which I find concerning. I’m not sure if this is due to you or something else but I’m seriously thinking it is you. Today I had to drink so many moistening herbs just to feel a bit more like me and I slept much longer than normal for me.
You have now piqued my interest, and we will be working together a lot more. I need to know what it is you do to me and why. Is it a good thing and my system just isn’t ready for you or are you a bad thing and I need to stay far away from you? Given your heat and drying and my hot, dry, tense constitution maybe we just don’t belong together.