Catching our breath

As I was battling the Corona-virus myself this past month (supposedly the ‘mild’ version, but even then it has forced me to spend most of my day couch-bound for more than three weeks now, making it all but impossible to do any work at all that is more strenuous than watching television – so please take the precautions seriously: nobody is immune to this!), a herbalist friend suggested I might want to try drinking Mullein-leaf tea to help with the healing.

Mullein is a herb that is well-known to be an effective cure for chest-infections, and I have indeed found that tea to be helpful in my own struggle (but do remember to see a doctor if you are seriously ill !!). Now that I am beginning to get back to normal, I thought it would be interesting to have a conversation with this plant, to see what advice she might have for us in a time where all of humanity is struggling to breathe. This is what she had to share:


This is Mullein

I am a healer. I specialize in breath. And there are some lessons in the current epidemic that I believe will help you find your way through it, lessons that will continue to be useful once all of this is nothing but a faintly remembered nightmare.

Your kind will pull through. As dire as things may seem to be right now, you have suffered far worse in the past. If anything, it will help you rediscover that resilience. But you should also allow it to be a lesson in humility. A lesson that strength alone will never be able to save you. That without being cared for in your time of weakness, even the strongest among you will not survive for long.

And so I would urge you to remember that. To make this crisis into a challenge helping you remember that once you were small, that once you needed a mother to care for you, and that you forever remain the child of that mother, no matter how bold and brave your actions usually are.

Many among you are currently struggling to breathe. Either because you are being choked by the virus, or because fear is making it hard for you to remember the fact that you need air in order to live.

Air. That simple, invisible yet oh so necessary thing. It literally keeps you alive. But it is the very thing so many among you are being denied most days of your lives: always busy, having no thoughts on your mind but everyday survival, many people had forgotten what it was like to breathe easily long before this virus came. And these are the ones that will be hardest hit in the aftermath: those without a voice and those without the luxury of the freedom to breathe.

And so I urge you to think of this in your own time of need. While you are being deprived of oxygen, think of those for who this is nothing but an aggravation of an already dire situation. Will they be allowed the room to recover afterwards? Will someone help them to breathe?

Then there is the planet you live on, and who you have been choking to death relentlessly. Once you recover your own breath, find the kindness within you to help her recover as well. Remember that reciprocity is everything. If you destroy your own safety net, who will care for you when you suffer? The planet is a very ill patient, yet still she keeps caring for her children. Do not forget to give thanks for that.

You are ill right now. There is a possible blessing in that as well. This is a time when you can do little but surrender yourself to the care of others. This is a time to let go of much that seemed important once, a tine to let go of striving but instead remember that in nature, nothing lives forever, and that that is a blessing, because it means that every creature has a chance to get some time in the sun. What is inessential in your own life? Which things are you now discovering to be far more important to you than you ever knew? Use this time to think. See it as the blessing of air, that you are now being given a brief opportunity to breathe in a way you had almost forgotten.


7 thoughts on “Catching our breath

  1. I hope you recover completely and gracefully! Thanks for sharing your journey and conversation, its interesting to read what plants have to say, and so nice to hear of someone recovering from “the virus”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! It certainly is a humbling experience to have ‘the thing’, as it is a very strong reminder of our vulnerability and the limits of the limits of our personal strength…

      Liked by 1 person

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