The Living Earth Snowberry
The Earth holds the memories of all lives lived
since the beginning of time, stored in the soil beneath our feet.
Every song, every emotion and every word spoken leaves a shadow
behind, marking its place in the never-ending passage of years.
These shadows, these ghostly footprints of time-passing,
are either the good energy or the bad of lives lived. They are
our memories interwoven with the other lives we shared, whether
equal in purpose with ours or alone in intent, but always in
a struggle of balanced stewardship.
This timeless collecting of memories is the Earth's reminder
to us that we are more of a burden to her than a benefit. She
turns the wheel of time with the tips of her fingers, so each
life lived is kept alive, yet each life is a ghost, following
behind us like a small breeze. In the dark of night they become
whispers, child-like songs that cling to our very souls. The
beauty of the Earth is the greatest gift we have been given.
It is the path we all travel.
The snowberry is an evergreen plant that has a wintergreen
fragrance. It lies close to the ground in coniferous forests,
blending in with decomposing wood and moss covered rocks. I have
often found them in old stands of maple. The leaves of this plant
can be used year-round for a tea, and the translucent white berries
can be cooked or used as an additive. However, a single plant
produces only a few berries.
The wintergreen plant is quite small, but very easy
to spot in the forest. While thicker than those of most small
plants, its leaves are a beautiful dark, shiny green and can
be chewed as you hike. They have a pleasant wintergreen taste.
The leaves make good tea or a savoury addition to a salad. The
berries are edible but as with the snowberry, they are not found
in large numbers. Wintergreen leaves are great as a breath mint.