Friday, January 08, 2010

I can tell you how to bottle fame, brew glory, and even put a stopper in death.

My little brother knows me far too well.
A big box from Amazon arrived yesterday containing everyone’s Christmas presents from my brother and his wife.
The boys received really neat games.
H got a book about the failure of big business (he and D discuss the strangest things but hey, I am just happy *I* don’t have to talk about them).
I received this delightful and attractive little tome:
I love this kind of thing; these bits of arcane knowledge about the natural world make me feel...empowered.
I think in another life I would have made a perfect midwife-healer sort of character:
1. I am superb in a crisis.
2. I have a stomach of iron.
3. I generally want people to leave me alone.

And the thought of using feverfew to ease my migraines, or lavender to destress, is intriguing to me. Especially if it works.
I feel positively medieval deploying my little bottle of Rescue Remedy.

Many of the most sympathetic characters I enjoy in fiction are midwife/healers.
Or, as the more skeptical in their lives term them: witches.

Although I came to Karen Cushman’s The Midwife’s Apprentice and Matilda Bone as an adult, I also would have loved them as a junior high schooler.
The novels of Alice Hoffman are rife with these witchy women, replete with their profound knowledge of plant lore and the supernatural: the Sparrow women in The Probable Future, Seventh Heaven’s Nora Silk, and most famously, Gillian and Sally Owens in Practical Magic.
Sarah Addison Allen’s lovely Garden Spells follows in the Practical Magic vein, and Claire’s use of her horticultural expertise is blended almost seamlessly with supernatural elements.

Other midwife/healer characters in literature I love include the reserved yet ferocious-in-love Dora Rare in Ami Mckay’s The Birth House; the stubborn, wily, and fiercely independent Hannah Trevor in Margaret Lawrence’s Hearts and Bones; and the more relaxed and intuitive Misha in Lillian Nattel’s wonderful River Midnight.

I’d make a great witch.
Equipped with all the right books now, too.


Badger said...

Dude. You just need to hang out with more Wiccans.

P.S. Wasn't Hearts and Bones one of a series? I think I had several Hannah Trevor books at one time, and I loved her, too.

Suse said...

I don't get migraines but I had feverfew growing everywhere at our old house (it self seeds EVERYwhere) and brewed into a tea it made a good headache relief.

I always like the midwife/healer/wise crone figure best too :) Did I tell you a couple of years ago I did a 'Witches and Witch hunting' subject at uni? Fabulous stuff.

Kristin said...

Oh, I loved that Hannah Trevor series! I'm going to have to check to see if there are any new ones; it's been a while.

MsCellania said...

Hey! I went to Herb School for a couple of years! I did practice for a few years, but gradually got out of circulation with the arrival of 2 babies, 11 months apart.
I still use homeopathy on my family, and herbs when I have the time. Sadly, we're all about the quick fix now.
I still throw a hunk of astragalus bark in soups/stews, still keep Rescue Remedy handy, still keep and use herbal remedies when I can; but we actually use gummy bear vitamins because -- the kids will eat them. And we've all had our fill of antibiotics over the past year. *sigh* I won't give the children colloidal silver to fight bacterial stuff - seems too risky.