It was the first really warm day yesterday. Beautiful. The birds sang and the sun shone truly bright and comforting as I found my way through the foot high brush in the marsh. Water snaked its way through patches as the large, old willow tree, in all its knowledge of history past hundred years or so, drank steadily and protected the greenery beneath. Plantain has sprung up. Used to heal wounds and also as food, it is a welcome sight. Dandelions grow tall and bush-like, tantalizing me with its toothed leaves and delicious flavors highlighted by the sunny yellow flowers. Dock rose up in long slender arms and invited me to have some. It is a powerful blood cleanser, anti-cancer, and healing to the liver, but one wouldn’t know by its mild bite and delicious addition to meals. Lamb’s Quarters showed shyly between wild grasses.
Wild strawberry leaves sit between plantain leaves and take me to memories past. A walk in the woods with my best friend some twenty-four years ago but really a day ago it seems. We walked and dreamed. Seventeen years old and filled with hope and certainty that our friendship would stand the tests of time. We walked without shirts on, unbidden and wild and innocence, in dappled sunlight we walked in carefree youth and joy. We agreed to meet ten years from the date with our families and walk this way again. August 11, 2001 came and went as did 2011 and I only wish her great joy and blessings on her path in her own woods. Strawberries will make a luxurious addition to our salads.
We walked further, accidentally frightened frogs, and came across the pond. Looking up into another ancient willow sat four birds. Large owls sat in statue. The husband, wife, and two infants, large and downy, flew one by one. A gift for this fine day of free food and soulful walking. How great is nature to provide vast amounts of food for us. Free for the taking, ten times more nutritious than cultivated greens. Cleansing, and filling, and healing.
Try wild greens on mixed salad. Or top pizza before baking. Roast with potatoes and garlic. Sauté with bacon and mushrooms. Make into a smoothie. Indulge. Wild greens are actually milder than spinach. There are many ways to prepare it. In gratitude is the best way.