Sunday, May 03, 2015

Words and plants

Tomaland Farm from the orchard with geese

Sunlight streaming through morello cherry blosssom

Lady's Smock or Cuckoo Flower

Dandelion seedhead Taraxacum officinale

Alexanders by the sea at Portwrinkle or Finnygook
Two words to sum up a week relaxing down in Cornwall at my Mum and Dad's slice of lovely. Three and bit novels inhaled - probably more reading than the rest of the year combined. Lots of gentle meandering walks in their garden and by hedgerows, enjoying the abundance of the plant world springing forth. Coming back in for cups of tea, treats with clotted cream and diving in to reference books to identify the more mysterious of the plants observed.

Every day I feel like I learned so much and filled up the space in my brain that normally churns over the work dilemmas du jour with little gems of knowledge. One of my favourite learnings: the Latin name officinalis comes from the word officina, used for the storeroom of a medieval monastery where medicines were kept. This is why it is given to many plants from which drugs can be obtained, such as for the beauty Taraxacum officinale or Dandelion pictured above. Letting that information dance around my brain it feels like a gift, it does wonders to anchor the knowledge as it fires my imagination, conjuring up images of ancient stores of herbs and wisdom. It excites me to learn just a drop of that.

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