Comfrey - the Queen Mother
The first comfrey plant that went in my garden was quiet and unassuming. She made no effort to dazzle or impress, she just grew steadily into her full self with strength and fortitude. Had I been paying attention I would have fallen head over heals for her right then, but like all the best relationships, I had to do the groundwork to be ready. Forcing it, pretending, intending...none of those would have worked. Though I wasn't all gooey and crazy about all her magnificent healing talents I had a healthy respect and the good sense to keep a patch of her in the garden.
The first demonstration of her magnificence was on a Saturday evening while chopping spinach for lasagna. I got a little too excited with the chopping and well, my thumb paid the price. As I stood in the kitchen, towel turning shades of red that turned Brett new shades of white, I heard the plants call. So into the garden Brett went, off to get the comfrey and yarrow. Spit poultice applied, and bandaged up tight, the healing was nothing short of miraculous the next day. I went to work with only a tiny band-aid. Her reputation for knitting tissue and bone, for healing the most traumatic of injuries is not an exaggeration. Comfrey is an expert, an elder. I believe it is impossible for her to be less than all of herself...another good lesson.
Recently, this green goddess called from across the yard during our first apprenticeship weekend. She had wisdom for us all and invited us right in to her presence. She had something that it was clearly time to share! She introduced herself as a 'Queen Mother'. I resisted the name and all the associations I mistakenly was applying, only to have one of the apprentices shout out, "shes a Queen!" Numerous spiders called attention: they had woven webs gracefully and skillfully in the spaces between the leaves & stalk. My mind flashed to the The Norns of Norse tradition before my eyes fell on the pattern of her leaves. More weaving, more knitting, more bringing together of things. Her shape and form offer so much if only one sits to and looks: her leaf, the rigid stalk, the soft fluid flowers. Everything about this plant reveals her true nature. Why wouldn't it? She has nothing at all to hide. But it was when she told me to chew her, to take her into my body, to heal my bones that I really understood. She was showing me my own resistance to healing, to confronting fear, to tending wounds that had healed improperly...she was showing me to trust her over my fear. And so I did.
I chewed her stalks, made tea with her leaves, created oil infusions, salves, plant baths. I visited her daily to show her I was ready and committed to learning her lessons. I surrendered to her embracing her fully as a student myself, and so, she taught me. She taught me that all healing begins in the deepest layer, in the bones, in the stories we carry in the tiniest of cells. She taught me that all healing requires weaving any places of separation, disconnect, dissonance back into coherence, wholeness, resonance. She made clear that relationships are not small things, they can not be had at a distance, they cannot be had holding fear. Comfrey taught me that our ability to heal is the real miracle. Of course, good allies that help us along the way never hurt.