Bloodroot, Crisp Mountain Water, and the Potter’s Clay

Springtime, the wildflowers rise and sway on the hidden hillsides out of view but not all that far away. The old folks knew their medicinal value; they used them to soothe and heal. And, every spring, they and their children would wander and gather flowers and herbs just how their elders taught them. Bloodroot growing beside a crisp, clean mountain stream has many usages. Folks back when dried and steeped the flower’s stem and root into a hot tea and stirred in raw sugar with a bit of Maw’s faith to cure bad blood. They ground it to moist compacts to soften plaque on teeth, clean wounds, as well as, squeezed an extract from the root; an orangish-red sap they made into a red dye to color to the Potter’s clay.


Perhaps time stands still, and it’s just our minds hourglass that is moving. Generations are born, and the older generations disappear from this sphere. Our hourglass doesn’t save their knowledge, lore, wisdom. It’s hard for the youth to listen; to feel the need to learn what was dried and preserved in the attics of the elders’ memories. I become a senior before arriving at this conclusion. That’s to say wisdom washed through our hands back to the river’s silt, instead of being reshaped in the Potter’s clay.


I suppose the art of sharing woes, wisdom, and wishes from our collective histories are not to worry about what you say. That is, if you steep your heart in truth and want others to be equals, then all will be alright. Meanwhile, I’ll roam the mountains, looking for folklore, rocks, wildflowers, up hillsides, over horizons, into the heavens. I’ll think of all the yesterdays. Things I should have said, and somethings I should have done, and the things we neglected to save. Of course, I’ll consider the future, when my family carry me to the river and lay me in the Potter’s clay. I presume by then I’ll have found the tree of redemption, and at the very least, not squander my hourglass’ sand. I have to believe that the maker of our lands and the Potter’s hands will continue to reshape me – fill my empty vase with bloodroot and crisp, clean water that soothes and heals any doubt away.

– Be Inspired ~ John S. Hockensmith

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