Updated: Jun 8
Are you still Covid conscious? 😷 I try, as it remains at the forefront of my thoughts. While I do wear a mask indoors for the most part, I find myself spending the majority of my time outside, blessed by the Floridian lifestyle. (We shall delve into the intriguing nature of this state momentarily.) Admittedly, most of us lack knowledge regarding the current transmission rates and/or the number of positive cases. The absence of comprehensive testing and reporting makes it difficult to ascertain such information. However, certain factors help keep me grounded: intuition, communal bonds, and even the enigmatic realm of fecal matter. No, not my own excrement,🙄. Allow me to direct your attention to a fascinating find; [https://www.cdc.gov/nwss/wastewater-surveillance.html]. Basically, the virus can be detected in wastewater, thereby enabling experts to gauge transmission rates through sewage analysis. Now, I must clarify that I am not a scientist, medical practitioner, or any authority capable of undertaking such an extensive study. Nor can I claim to comprehend all the intricacies of the professional jargon or accurately assess the risks faced by myself and those around me. Therefore, I rely upon a multitude of approaches, drawing upon induction, spirituality, and my community.
Having relocated to Florida a few years ago, I swiftly understood from the locals that relying on the government is a futile endeavor. One must be self-sufficient and prepared! My favorite spots here are the international grocery stores, where I observed intriguing conversations even before the pandemic prompted any closures. The items being purchased and the discussions taking place were quite telling. (Admittedly, Florida has not excelled in its handling of the pandemic, yet it is important to acknowledge that the situation could have been far worse in Central FL.) Overhearing these conversations, I realized that individuals had already devised plans of action. Even something as simple as ensuring regular walks with loved ones for fresh air demonstrated their readiness. Without the need for formal think tanks or expert panels, the people instinctively grasped the importance of self-care and mutual support. This is what captivates me about US: our ability to rely on instinctual knowlege, Spirit, our gut instincts, or whatever one chooses to label it. It is ingrained in our very essence; our DNA remembers the survival mechanisms required in this ever-evolving world.
One of my cherished pastimes is foraging. I have always dabbled in it to some extent, seeking out wild mint, plucking crabapples, and gathering dandelions. However, Florida has introduced me to an entirely new and untamed ecosystem! The forests, roadside verges, and even people's yards are teeming with abundant treasures awaiting discovery. I marvel as I witness fellow Floridians uncover wild hibiscus, bitter melons, and a variety of fruits and herbaceous vines, whether they are walking to the store or awaiting the bus. Inspired by their pursuits, I decided to embark on a new kind of foraging journey a few years ago. I now approach it with less intentionality, allowing my spirit and intuition to guide me. I venture outside to simply revel in the beauty of nature, allowing my feet to lead the way and only selecting that which resonates with my inner calling. A few weeks ago, it was the magnificent magnolia tree that beckoned to me. These majestic trees are plentiful in this region, appearing in my sight no matter where I wander. Yet, on that particular day, I felt compelled to approach one and engage with it. I spent time in the presence of this plant, exploring its flowers, leaves, and bark. I crafted teas, potions, and creams, incorporating its essence into my repertoire of tools. I must confess, it was an honor to collaborate with the magnolia. Its sweetness and grace permeated every step of the process. And then, as if guided by an unseen force, further revelations came my way. In my subsequent research, I stumbled upon an astonishing discovery: [https://www.insideprecisionmedicine.com/coronavirus-2/magnolia-tree-bark-compound-inhibits-sars-cov-2-replication-in-some-cells/]. Such revelations were beyond my wildest expectations. Please bear in mind, however, that neither this research nor I claim that a natural plant possesses the ultimate solution for a mutated virus. I implore you to remain committed to wearing masks, practicing social distancing, following medical advice, ventilating and purify indoor spaces, and taking any preventive medications. Nevertheless, after nearly four years, it has become evident that these measures are not always accessible, and one cannot rely on the powers to be for assistance. So I continue to embrace the allure of foraging, guided by my spirit and the whispers of the Earth. I am reminded of the profound honor it is to collaborate with the magnolia and unearth unexpected revelations.
No single plant holds the definitive answer to the challenges we face. We must remember in the absence of guaranteed solutions, we must forge our own paths towards well-being. A world where intuition intertwines with community, where the wisdom of our ancestors resonates within us, guiding our steps in times of uncertainty. As we navigate this intricate tapestry of existence, may we find solace in the natural wonders that surround us. Let us tread lightly upon the earth, respecting its bountiful offerings and finding inspiration in the interconnectedness of all living beings. Together, we possess the ability to create a reality imbued with resilience, compassion, and harmony. Let us forge our own paths, weaving together the threads of spirit and community care, and usher in a present-day that reflects the extraordinary potential that lays within all of us.🌍🌱💫