My herb teacher, mentor, and old friend Matthew Wood has been in town this past weekend to teach an advanced class in herbology. Matt is a well-known and gifted Western herbalist who has many published books under his belt as well as countless workshops and clinics over the past 20 years. I learned of his Santa Fe class when I saw a flyer in Herbs, Etc. in Santa Fe a few weeks ago, and I immediately contacted him to let him know I was living here. We hadn’t seen each other in over ten years, but as we speak he is snoozing away in my guest room before we head out to return him to the Albuquerque airport for his flight home.
How I met Matt is another one of those happy, synchronistic events — one of the most meaningful in my life.
For my birthday, many years ago, a dear friend gave me Matthew’s first book: Seven Herbs: Plants as Teachers. This is a small book reporting on the magical properties of seven flower essences and the incredible results Matt had seen when he treated clients with them. As with all of Matthew’s work, his knowledge, experiences, and writings include not only the scientific aspects of the plants he works with, but also the mystical and personality elements of each. Matthew views all living things as having intelligence and awareness — certainly the plant kingdom.
Seven Herbs was for me one of those turning points in life that have no explanation. I was spellbound. I was transported to another level of awareness entirely. And the book catapulted me into a totally different spiritual realm than I had ever experienced — one that treasures the holiness and blessedness of every living thing on earth. In a real, gut-felt way, not one that just gives lip service to a prescribed belief system.
I did two things right away. 1) I sent a 4-page, handwritten letter to Matthew, via his publisher, realizing he would probably never receive it (he did not). 2) I made my first flower essence from the Showy Primroses that were the first hints of spring at my country property that year.
And that was that, as far as reaching Matthew was concerned. Or so I thought.
The Universe had other plans. About 2 or 3 years later I was talking to someone on the phone when the topic of flower essences and Matthew Wood came up. She told me he was due to come to town (then Austin, TX) to teach, and that the person who was hosting him needed a place for him to stay and in which to hold the class.
Done deal! My country home was a perfect setting for workshops, and I had a nice private guest space to boot. The rest is history. Matthew came to Austin several times, stayed with me, and taught workshops out of my home. I learned more from Matt than I ever could have imagined and later opened an herb store in a nearby community that catered to helping people with herbal remedies in more ways than the usual taking of supplements.
Those were wonderful years. I made a set of 37 Hill Country flower essences and continued to expand my knowledge of the vibrational, spiritual, and nutritional aspects of the plants, as well as of their properties when in homeopathic form.
Having Matthew back in my life is such a gift. We not only have a great time hanging out together, but he is helping me with remedies for my back problems of this past year.