“How surely gravity’s law,
strong as an ocean current,
takes hold of even the strongest thing
and pulls it toward the heart of the world.
each stone, blossom, child–
is held in place.
Only we, in our arrogance,
push out beyond what we belong to
for some empty freedom.
If we surrendered
to earth’s intelligence
we could rise up rooted, like trees.
Instead we entangle ourselves
in knots of our own making
and struggle, lonely and confused.
So, like children, we begin again
to learn from the things,
because they are in God’s heart;
they have never left him.
This is what the things can teach us:
patiently to trust our heaviness.
Even a bird has to do that
before he can fly.”
Book of Hours, II, 16
By Rainer Maria Rilke
Nothing is separate; everything is connected.
In our age of isolation, it is a rare thing to have a sense of place—so much of the land has been neglected, depleted, paved over in the name of progress. We have severed ourselves from the earth, and it is a cut that doesn’t heal. It festers the longer it remains, and the result is the systemic malaise of our modern society.
To heal the wound is a life’s work.
But where do we start?
The poet Rilke offers a suggestion: like children, we begin again.
We learn to connect with the earth, to rekindle the wonder we once felt for the feel of mud between our toes, the twilight breeze on sweat-drenched skin, the mathematically perfect spiral of an abandoned snail’s shell. There is still a place for technology and invention; we simply must prioritize the sustainable over the synthetic. Renewal rather than depletion—this is the earth’s intelligence.
And who doesn’t want to feel grounded in the face of the massive shakeups that daily occur on a global scale?
Who among us feels balanced in all respects—physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually—while engaged in the hustle and bustle of modern life?
I chose the name Rising Up Rooted for my work because it represents my belief in a multifarious approach to wellness.
Herbs can support the material body in its return to balance, but unless we also work to bring the mental, emotional, and spiritual bodies into balance, our healing is incomplete. Unless we sink deep into the earth and her rhythms, we cannot stand tall enough to reach the stars.
It’s not an easy thing to be embodied in this day and age. There is so much grief and injustice, so much violence and fear. It’s tempting to tune out and embrace all the distractions our culture has to offer. But we are all called to be present, to face these issues head on, and to do the work of developing ourselves so that we can be of service to others.
Like the trees, we need healthy roots to weather the storms that sweep through our lives and the droughts of creativity and inspiration that leave us feeling parched and exhausted.
My desire is to support you in the establishment and maintenance of your own roots. There are so many tools we can use for this purpose—herbs and medicinal foods, movement and meditation practices, art and storytelling, and more—and there is a place for everyone in the paradigm of holistic health. Remember this: you are unique, and so is your path. It will not look like anyone else’s. Revel in that knowledge.
So welcome to this space, a home for thoughts on health and wellness. May you find something here to nourish your soul.