Women’s Herbal Conference–the Long Black Veil

I spent the weekend at the Southeast Women’s Herbal Conference where I taught a couple of classes and attended several taught by some wonderful teachers. I networked with new women, spent short but glorious time with old friends and tried to get some rest in between all the fun and learning.

The teachers mostly stay together in a large bunkhouse with a great room and kitchen. Yes, there are bunkbeds and there isn’t heat. We somehow manage to sleep on plastic camp mattresses and to stay warm–and even get up early enough to walk across the camp to have breakfast in the dining hall.

There is something rare and wonderful (and also sad) about being outside on a cool clear night, in a place where there is little ambient light. The stars! The stars! I live in a place where there’s too much “extra” light and the stars seem cold and distant. (And it’ll no doubt get worse as Asheville grows–will New Belgium be dark as night at night? Unlikely.)

I left before the conference ended because I had a commitment in town. The good-byes are always sad and sweet, knowing that I won’t see some of those women until this time next year and some I’ll never see again.

My first class was on Friday afternoon and it was called “The Long Black Veil,” It was the first time I’d presented it and was gratified that the people attending it seemed to get something out of it. It was about death and dying, and is my first exploration through workshop of death midwifery–the other midwifery. I talked to three women during the course of the weekend who are also doing this particular and peculiar work and we plan to stay in touch and develop our work in this area.

So, it was good. I still haven’t unpacked because I hit the ground running this morning. Maybe tomorrow…


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