We had a lucky day at the beach last Friday in the sort of sun. It felt good.
Joanne told a story that she learned from Roger Fernandes of the Lower Elwha, Klallam tribe of the Olympic Peninsula area. The story is called How Nettle Saved the People. It tells of an island group who were frightened and threatened by “the People of the North” who kept coming down in their canoes and stealing the tribes goods and even some of their people. One islander asked the ancestors for help. That night Nettle came to her in a dream. Nettle told the people to drink tea made of her leaves and for the warriors to lash themselves with her tall plants in late spring. The islanders followed the advice from Nettle and this powerful dream. They came together as a community feeling strong, and sang and drummed on the beach the next time the People of the North appeared. The invaders could see something had changed. They turned their canoes around and paddled away.
This story still carries a lot of teaching for us. One of our elders pointed out that Nettle always stands together in groups–not many of us dare to run through a patch of Nettle. The more we stand together the stronger we are. Also, listen to your dreams. Have courage. And plants are powerful.
After story the Wind Gatherers gathered together wild plants and had a Spring feast together at lunch time. Lunch included wild edible salad with nettle oil and vinegar dressing, nettle tea, and beautiful views of the Salish Sea. Then we dipped our bare toes into the water and played on the glorious beach with our dear friends.