5 Dinner Guests. Who are 5 people you’d love to have dinner with (living or deceased) and why?
My husband and I were sitting in our living room when I read today’s Health Activist Writer’s Challenge prompt aloud. John brightened and said, “That’s easy: Meriwether Lewis, Walt Whitman, Jane Kenyon, Susun Weed and Gail Faith Edwards! I couldn’t add or subtract from that list, so here it is…a group of individuals who could share and learn from each other and teach me so much. Does my husband know me or what?
The early American explorer and I have a few things in common — namely, a knowledge of herbal remedies and a love for nature’s beauty. When I first read about the legendary trek across the country in search of the Northwest Passage, I was surprised to learn that Captain Lewis was well-versed in medicinal plants. He learned about herbal remedies — known as “simples” — from his mother, who was a respected wise woman in Virginia. As he traveled across the continent, Lewis wrote long, romantic passage about the mountains, plains, plants and animals around him.
Walt Whitman’s poetry always sets my spirits soaring. From “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry” to “Come, Said My Soul” and “Song of Myself”, his poems capture the mystery and beauty of nature, the soul, and the human body. As a poet, I would be completely floored if I could share a meal with this American.
Jane Kenyon, who passed away in 1995 at age 47, is my favorite poet. As a New Hampshire native and wife of a poet, I relate to her poems about her life in New Hampshire with her husband, poet Donald Hall. Now that I live in Texas, her poems about the inner psyche and everyday life in an old farmhouse carry me back to my ancestral home. Maybe we even knew some of the same people.
Alive and Well:
Herbalist and author Susun Weed is one of the most important teachers of my life. She inspires me to take care of myself and my family with infusions and tinctures made from nourishing, healing plants. I treasure the letters I received from her as a student, and I look forward to reading every new book that she publishes. I know that I would have a list of questions if I could sit down to dinner with her.
Gail Faith Edwards
Gail Edwards wrote two of my favorite herbal books: Opening Our Wild Hearts to the Healing Herbs and Through the Wild Heart of Mary. She writes often about the role of the community herbalist, and the importance of studying every aspect of plants — including botany, history and medicinal properties. As a home and garden writer, I would love to hear what she has to say about the “useful plants”.
That’s my dinner guest list. Can’t wait to read yours!