“One drop fell from a fern, and lo, a ripple” – Robert Frost. This was the first quote I found when I googled fern. It touched something so tightly held in my body. Something that at this time, seems so distance, so impossible, so needed. I am speaking of HOPE. A speck of hope can ignite a fire of what is possible. The thing is it must be released in order to be effective.
The woods are a concert of ferns holding tight the coils of possibilities. Each day I walk I see more new possibilities in these Fibonacci fiddleheads. The Fibonacci spiral is the harmonizing of the theoretical constant, according to a quick google search. Walking among these ferns, and nature, creates a coherence in our cells. This is a call to be present. In our current culture, we are called away from natural rhythms. We are over stimulated with technology, with information, with gadgets and gizmos that our true and natural senses are dulled and even muted. I have this pull and push in my head about justifying taking my phone into the woods with me. “It’s for safety!” “It’s for taking pictures.” “What if my son needs me?” The list goes on. What is interesting and happens regularly, is my phone dies in the woods. I can justify that too…I’ve taken too many high definition pictures that drain the battery. The common thread when this happens is my thoughts are racing, my pace is quick, and I am not fully present. Thank you, Universe for pulling me back to the present!
The fern has been around for a long time. Fossil records show that it was here BEFORE the dinosaurs! It is a recordkeeper of DNA, of history and of lore. It was considered magical because it didn’t bloom, yet it somehow populated the woods. The spores are ignited with the alchemy of the sun and released from the plant in possibility. Magic! It has been used as green tonics for healing; is only edible before the fronds open, fiddlehead soup; and, the spores are also a remedy for the bite of stinging nettle. It is said, that on midsummer’s eve, the possessor of the seeds of the fern could understand the language of birds, find buried treasure and have the strength of forty men! That is some powerful juju from this soft and humble woodland resident.
The fern is a symbol in many cultures. It sings of eternal youth, new life and new beginnings, of family and future generations, and of good luck. It is a symbol of endurance and resourcefulness because it can grow in difficult places. Doesn’t this sound like something we need now more than ever? Fear is breeding with each breath, each news briefing, each headline, each friend’s social media post…it can be overwhelming. We need to propagate spores of hope, not spores of pandemonium. I recommend forest bathing, woodland walks (of course with appropriate social distancing), or just a pause in the privacy of your backyard in your bare feet. There is a web that is greater than the internet…it’s called NATURE. It has a pulse, it has remedy, it has a message. Mother Earth is intelligent, supportive and ready to heal. Plug into that and unplug from the societal influences, at least for a few minutes a day. It could change you.
I do have hope for the future. I hope you do too. Let that be enough to create a ripple and ignite the fire of possibilities for ourselves, our families, our communities, our countries and our world. It is more than possible…I believe.
I leave this blog with this poem by Sam Walter Foss:
The woods were made for the hunter of dreams,
The brooks for the fishers of song;
To the hunters who hunt for the gunless game
The streams and the woods belong.
There are thoughts that moan from the soul of pine
And thoughts in a flower bell curled;
And the thoughts that are blown with scent of the fern
Are as new and as old as the world.
Blessings and peace,
Blue Jean Oracle