Basil can beckon scorpions and help a cough. Rosemary can prevent the evil eye and beat infections. Lavendar can keep witches away and provide a restful sleep. If you were a kid in midieval times, you knew these basic tenents.
Our 3/4 graders are two-months deep into their midieval times study, so last class was time to treat them to an herb walk through a midieval garden. Children scavenger hunted for a dozen herbs and exchanged tails and truths about their medicinal and folk uses. We harvested branches, flowers, and leaves and wove them up into herb amulets to be worn around the neck or hung above a family's door. Gardeners and teachers practiced making our own evil eye and imagined how it would be to live in a time where spells were cast and herb force fields were revered like bulletproof jackets.
Camoflauged in the midieval festivites was vital knowledge about treating common ailments with herbs and foods. We got to practice walking carefully through the garden, looking at plants, listening to plant communication, and wondering about human relationships with plants. The kids responded to being herb focused study with bubbly giggles, helping and curious hands, and light steps.
After class, with freshly sharpened observation skills, an 'io (Hawaiian hawk) was spotted by a comfrey-covered boy walking away from class wearing a bold herbal amulet of sage, rosemary, and lavendar. "Look! A hawk!" He led all eyes to the soaring bird; a black silouette against huge grey clouds and all eyes watched with silent awe as the hawk rode one wind current to the next.
I wondered what a child in midieval times would say about that.
Krista Joan says:
My mission is to teach, train, and testify in resistance to the white supremacy of my ancestors. My personal choices are political, powerful, and practical. Let's trash waste.