What does it mean to expose your roots?
I find myself mesmerized by exposed roots. I'm drawn to the trees that can unearth their roots and yet thrive. One would think it means becoming unstable to unearth the very network that grounds and anchors your whole self from falling over, right? Spending time in Nature tells another story.
What are roots to you? What connections do you make? Where are your roots? Do you look at your bloodlines for ancestral clues? That works until you get to the wars and genocides plaguing humanity and then the stories are told differently or lost or silenced. But the roots still exist. The trauma is on the surface and it's really part of "the weather conditions" during growth. We are being asked to go deeper than defining ourselves based on our traumas, our local weather, and our conditions. Yes, these weather elements affect growth but at the very core of the roots is a driving force that is anchored in the original way. We all have ancestral roots running into the ancient sea of time and while we may not know where these roots are anchored, they still support us right here, right now. Some roots are demanding to be exposed to strengthen our growth and expand our ability to see.
I know a story of one family who thought they were from Italy from as far back as their parents and grandparents could remember. Through genetic testing prompted by the children, it turns out they are fully rooted in Arabian, Spanish, and Northern and Central America Native People. It does make sense if you follow the genocides and the trade routes, right? This news, when given to the elderly parents, rocked this tribe at first like the shimmy of subsoil above the tectonic plates as pressure is released and soil falls away and there seems like there is no solid ground to place one's foot. They swayed as their roots demanded to be exposed. Had they identified with a people that was not rooted in their lineage? Maybe, on the surface, but I say look even deeper and farther. These gorgeous elders found humor and lessons and forgotten memories that exposed their roots. It exposed why they put cinnamon in their companata, and why uncle-so-and-so did this or that, and why cousin-this-one looked like this and was adopted into Lenape or Inuit tribes. Be careful holding tight to a belief that elders can't learn or change. They can and do and sometimes with elegant speed and grace while working in a nap too.
Did you know there's a tree that walks? This one unique exception in the tree world called the walking palm tree (Socratea exorrhiza) is found in Latin America. Many people believe it can literally walk around more or less because of its unusual, exposed root system. Most trees have one trunk, but this palm splits into many smaller roots a few feet off the ground, giving it the appearance of many little legs.The ambulatory ability of this walking tree has been told by many a story teller and appears prolifically in sources on amazing plant adaptation. The tree slowly 'walks' from shade to sunlight by growing new roots toward the light and allowing old roots in the shadows that interfere with its wanderlust to die. Exposed roots have much to teach.
So tell me, are your roots demanding to be exposed? What is shaking and shimmying and trying to get your attention to go deeper and get past the conditions that limit understanding so you can see more clearly and deeply? Gems await us wise one. This I know!
Much Love - Jen Costa, Herbalist, BS, RN, CST and Founder of ElderMoon School of Herbal Medicine and Earth Awareness at www.eldermoonschool.net
Jennifer Costa, Herbalist, Teacher, BS, RN, CST, and Founder of ElderMoon School of Herbs & Earth Medicine