and The Bee
by Jarad Johnson
When I was very young, I played soccer. I didn’t particularly enjoy it, but I did enjoy kicking up clods of dirt and chasing butterflies while the other players actually tried to win the game. If you can’t tell, sports are not my natural form of expression. Uniforms, arbitrary rules, and running? No thanks. Also, my aim is terrible.
So, instead of paying attention I was constantly being lured away by the delights of nature. On one of my excursions chasing after a butterfly, I got stung by a bee. I’m sure that this did nothing to further endear me to my teammates. I was five. I was and am not afraid to loudly proclaim my pain to the world, so there was lots of screaming and crying. And wailing. Well, I’ve always been a bit dramatic so imagine me with a bee sting.
It just so happened that a certain doctor that I’ve known for a long time was there to witness the drama. I went to school with her children and even visited her holistic practice a couple of times. She’s very into natural medicine and like all the good witches and herb women we go on about, she knows a thing or two about herbs. She took one look at tiny, wailing, dramatic me and she went straight into the woods. She walked over, found a particular herb growing there (chickweed is my best guess- it has many anti-inflammatory properties), chewed it up and stuck it on the spot where I was stung. According to my mom, I stopped crying pretty quickly.
I don’t really remember this event, but being told about it, and maybe it stuck deep in my mind. Maybe somehow that’s the foundation of my belief in the magic of plants. It’s always fascinated me. the fact that you could walk into the woods, and where other people see nothing, and find medicine. Of course, the practical uses of herbs are many and varied, and serious illnesses require medical supervision, but I’ve always loved the idea that help and comfort is all around you, springing from the ground in plenty. Not only that, but there are butterflies and birds and even the beautiful but dangerous bees.
At Sacred Chickens we are writers, yes, but we are also gardeners, and oftentimes there’s a great deal of crossover between the two. I think books for me were much like plants. Stories and worlds of magic were all around me, tucked between the covers of books. Like nature words can bring healing or pain. Like a garden you begin by enjoying the magic and gradually move to a desire to create it. Words and plants are the best kind of magic, as sacred as the chickens to whom this site is dedicated.
Anyway, we also want to encourage you to find your magic, whether it be art, or words, or a garden full of herbs. There are worlds out there just waiting for you to create them.
Jarad recently graduated from college at MTSU, loves tea and coffee, and tries to spend every spare second reading. He is a fervent gardener and is fascinated by all related topics and has spent several years writing about this passion. He has been gardening for 6 years and believes that Nature is our greatest teacher. He majored in English with a concentration in literature and plans to pursue and master’s degree in Ecocriticism.