Woolgathering & Wildcrafting


Devotion is an individual joy. The things that most seduce us, making the hair at the back of our necks shiver or our hearts bottom out like an old rowboat, are unique to each of us. For one person, a long morning of bird watching might be the most perfect pleasure. While, to another, the simple ritual of untucking their bed at night is the loosening of their sweetest tea.

Woolgathering and Wildcrafting are two of my favorite devotions. For as long as I can remember I had been an avid, almost expert woolgatherer. (If you frequently hear the phrase, “earth to [inset your name here],” you are most likely part of this tribe also). Letting myself wander through my own thoughts, collecting snip bits of daydreams as one might collect fallen tufts of wool is one of my purest joys.

I am in love the term woolgathering. Not only because it describes the meditative action of trailing through one’s imagination, but because it hints at the unseen process of creation and realization behind “idle daydreaming.” Once collected, what do you do with a bundle of wool? Spin it of course! And dye it, and weave it, and create something wholly new to your life. Our forays into the backcountry of our imaginations are the beginnings of new projects, new passions, and new purpose. (even the new york times agrees!)

Wildcrafting, the harvesting of herb, root, or flower from the wilds, isn’t so different from woolgathering. Instead of wandering the hills of your mind, you roam the woods and meadows of your home. The medicine or musings you collect there are just as instrumental to weaving oneself anew. By learning and knowing the plants that surround you, the art of Wildcrafting teaches you how to recognize yourself in your environment, and your environment within yourself. It is a magical experience. Ultimately, I believe that we are the creators of our own little lives of devotion, and every time I pick up a bit of food or medicine from the wilds, I find yet another ingredient to living a fuller, more realized life.

I hope you join me as I share these, and other daily devotions, from my graced little life in Southern Appalachia on this new blog. Welcome!