One of my most important considerations when developing recipes in the Upper Zambezi Valley is the weather. For nine months of the year it’s hot, with October being the hottest month of all. It’s the hottest and the driest. Suicide month, as some people call it. Here, right now, we long to smell THAT smell, petrichor. We long for our first drenching of rain.
When Annabel first asked me to come with her to do Ayahuasca I had never heard of plant medicine and my reaction was one of scepticism tinged with fear of the unknown, and of making myself vulnerable.
This blogpost comes with a warning: it’s a long read, it’s about psychoactive plant medicine, and it isn’t for everyone. I’ve written this for a number of people who have asked me about my experience with ayahuasca, in the hope of trying it themselves one day. This post is for them.
The wonder of a garden
Trusting the first warmth of spring
Until its black infinity of cells
Becomes charged with dream;
Then the silent, slow nurture
Of the seed’s self, coaxing it
To trust the act of death.
The humility of the Earth
That transfigures all
That has fallen
Of outlived growth.
The meaning of marriage begins in the giving of words. So said Wendell Berry, one of the wisest users of words I’ve ever read, who also happens to be a farmer, like Chris. “We cannot join ourselves to one another without giving our word,” Berry advises, “and this must be an unconditional giving, for in joining ourselves to one another we join ourselves to the unknown.
My friend, Louise, claims that the first sentence she heard me utter was when I asked my mother if she’d ever tasted the wax in her ears. I must have been sticking a grubby little finger into one of mine and testing it myself.