I wait for them. Yearn for them, all through winter’s grey. And then one day, they appear. A few paces in time behind the ever-brave forsythia, they infuse the still-leafless forest with extraordinary splashes of magenta.
A feast for the eye and the heart. And also, I’ve learned, an edible treat!
Cercis Canadensis, the Eastern Red Bud.
Light and tangy. Buds and flowers. Perfect for sprinkling a bit of extra magic on a lush Spring salad shared with friends.
I know folks whose Ozark wildcrafting wisdom expands far beyond Red Buds. Their resourcefulness, sometimes cultivated across generations, stretches from poke to greens to mushrooms and more. For them even everyday chickweed and dandelions easily translate into nutritious treasures. How I admire this knowledgeable, respectful linking with the land and its bounty; this way of being in touch, in harmony, in place, and in the moment with the Earth’s vitality.
Foraging, of course, isn’t a realistic option or necessity for many of us. But for most of us choosing foods and related rituals (preparation, eating, celebration) that boost and integrate our spiritual, psychological, relational and physical vitality is viable . . . . at least from time to time.
I would love to hear about your wildcrafting adventures and/or the personal foodways which vitalize your everyday life and being.