“Travel brings power and love back into your life.” Rumi
“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page,” Augustine of Hippo
This was another wondrous opportunity to meet a dazzling array of botanists and herbalists. Last year’s Herb of the Year was Sambucus spp. It was a grand celebration around the merit of not only that species but on all of the herbal and pharmacological benefits of plants in general.
I presented three separate lectures on varied topics related to my interests, history and knowledge of botanicals.
I appeared as a guest at the annual banquet. The centerpieces on the table had copies of my only known printed likeness pushed inside a bottle. Like a stranded seafarer, I was cast away on all of the tables waiting to be picked up and discovered.
One of the special lectures was on my contributions to the Appendix to the Medicina Britannica of 1751.
Coming out of that document is my description of the well-known American Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis):
“It makes a fine Salve for healing Wounds and Ulcers or to remove Pain and Swelling. It may be used as a purgative or an emetic. This will promote labor in childbirth and has curative powers over pains in the head and congestion in the Kidneys and Lungs.”
The rest of the outing to the campus of Michigan State University included a visit to the remarkable Children’s Garden.
Even though it was under snow, I could see the very happy bones of the place. It would have entranced my children when they were of that age.
Even in my advanced years, the color of the architecture and the quality of the paving achieved a harmony of natural connection that could not fail to amuse the younger set.
While just across the way, there was the entrance to the Clarence E. Lewis Landscape Arboretum. What a surprising trip it was. I experienced gardens, within gardening, within friendly meetings. All around successful.