mulleinI love it when things turn around just when you’ve given up all hope.

I’d noticed some unusual swelling in my left leg and ankle. Luckily it turned out to be a minor circulation issue, but still, one that needed some attention to avoid getting worse.

I was wearing compression socks as the doctor had recommended, but what I really needed was some fresh mullein leaves. Hey, don’t laugh. A mullein poultice would reduce the swelling, and more importantly, strengthen the veins to reduce or eliminate the problem.

It was late in the season, and sure enough, as I hiked around looking for mullein, every plant I saw was thin, dry, and lifeless. I was worried about my leg, and starting to feel pretty depressed. Was this the official start of my becoming an old person with all the health problems to prove it?

I scolded myself for having neglected to gather a good supply of this herb in early summer.


A Lighter Approach

old-mulleinWhen I noticed myself having all these critical, unhappy thoughts, I remembered my goal of approaching challenges by raising my energy and being open to a new solution.

I took some deep breaths, relaxed my shoulders, and imagined my awareness moving up and settling near my eyes. A few moments later I felt peaceful. I started to imagine myself using some dandelion and cleavers to reduce the swelling.


Darkness Returns

Well that’s just great, I thought, with growing anger and resentment, those would in no way be as effective as mullein! My face became a scowl.

I was told I should keep my feet up; maybe I should just lie on the couch all day and watch TV!

Oh no! Now I’m getting crotchety.


Going With The Flow

That afternoon I had some errands to run. As I drove down the driveway I noticed the brilliant reds, oranges, and yellows in the fall landscape. I found myself turning right instead of left to take the back roads into town.

young-mulleinAs I drove past a neighbor’s farm I saw a tall, withered mullein stalk like all the others I’d seen. But low in the grass surrounding this one was a circle of fresh new plants.

My foot hit the brakes as my eyebrows shot up and I jolted to attention. AM I REALLY SEEING FRESH MULLEIN? YES!!!

Together the plants looked like a mom having a picnic with her twelve children. Her summer flowers had matured and dropped, and thanks to our unusually warm fall weather, the seedlings had come up and kept growing long enough to produce their first leaves.

Feeling a thrill rushing through me, I grabbed my bags and clippers from the back seat, and went trudging through tall grass and up the steep hillside to claim my reward. I was so gleeful I hardly noticed the needle-sharp briars scraping against my legs. The mullein plants were farther up than they’d looked from the car. Did I care? I scrambled up that hill and kept going, even though my sandals slipped again and again on the loose, dry soil, leaving layers of dirt from my knees on down.

Back home, after rinsing off the dirt, I got out my dehydrator to dry some of the leaves to make tea and poultices throughout the winter. I was happy that my intention to see things from a higher perspective had nudged me to drive in a different direction and find what I’d thought was not to be found. How fun is that!


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