In spring, nature boasts in all its beauty, and, as the time rolls out from June to October, we will enjoy in her flowers and fruits as they change colors and spice up the visual panopticon we stand on with an overwhelming sense of abundance.
Even in deserts, if you know where to look, you will find the riches. A walk through the forest or a panorama of a vast field of corn can make us think her resources are infinite, nature’s light will never diminish, and the summer will be endless.
But come November, the last baskets have been filled and emptied, and the darkness ensues, as a reminder that nothing is forever. The cyclical attributes of nature are a wake-up call about skillful economizing, which we must do respectfully, even when there is a cornucopia of nature’s gifts.
This is, of course, most evident with flowers that have no other function than being beautiful. Other flowers turn to produce, which we must wait to ripen and eat or be eaten by animals.
Even a flower that has something more to offer than pure beauty, like an elder-flower that makes extraordinary tea and an even better juice syrup, has to be picked up carefully and with reverence to nature.
An elder-flower tree I found on a hike reminded me of an important lesson from the JOYW training I did several years ago. The lesson was about approaching Mother Nature with reverence.
Reverence is not only about deep respect. It has a string of admiration in it and that’s invariably palpable when we are in awe of a bursting meadow, ripe golden crops full of grasshopper in late summer afternoons, and vivid autumn leaves on the park grass.
Elder-flower smells enchanting. Its healing properties work miracles with colds and respiratory issues. For magical properties, some even say it can protect you against psychic and physical attacks. So, it is the flower of protection.
So, how do you take flowers and fruits from nature?
Regardless of the type of flower you will pick, it’s best if you tune in the sounds of nature, listen, and observe.
When all is quiet around you, you can access your intuition, and intuition gives the healthiest answers that are not burdened by greed (“I don’t care about this flower, I like it and I will pick it up at any cost”), guilt (“I must not pick flowers in nature, they will die immediately”), fear (“If someone sees me, I may need to pay a fine”) or shame (“My mom told me I should never pick flowers, only bad people do so”).
In silence, you can talk to nature and find the answers yourself. Ask the particular tree, bush, or flower whether it is all right to pick its flowers. If you listen attentively, the answers will soon be at the doorstep of your soul and you would know you did the right thing.
Treat nature’s gifts for what they are – gifts. You will know how to recognize gifts when you see them and you will avoid taking for yourself more than you need. Of course, lessons sometimes come from nature herself in the shape of a bee sting or poisonous ivy and nettle.
And always come back to the feeling of reverence because it is the optimal tool for choosing abundance in a wise, nature-aligned way without hurting or harming her.