The Crestone Eagle • May, 2021

Remembering the Roots: Truth Requires Thorns

by Jessica Forman

Love speaks in flowers, Truth requires thorns.    –Leigh Bardugo

Meandering along the creeks and through the woods this time of year, I enjoy seeing the bare stems of the plants and bushes that will soon be full with leaves and buds, flowers and fruits as the rhythms of spring and summer pulse along. What has caught my attention as of late are the Thorned Ones.

Thorns protect. Protect the silky soft petals of the rose we have come to venerate so highly and adore, as well as her nutrient-dense hips. The thorns protect this other member of the rose family; the supple, juicy raspberry, who also offers generous nourishing qualities in her leaves. 

These wise ones use sharpness to guard their softness. Rose, as well as hawthorn, a thorn-bearing tree (rose family), are well known as healers of the heart, turned to for physical, spiritual and emotional grief, sadness and need. These plants that offer sweet and uplifting medicine for the watery human experience require some spike. The guarding of our tender and most open qualities is essential. 

These plants demand that you pay attention in their presence. They insist that their field be respected. They know about boundaries. Healthy boundaries are not aggressive. They are the intentional containers we create for ourselves to experience clear psychic, physical and spiritual well-being. They are one of many ways we respect ourselves and others. Oftentimes when we have unclear edges of our reality, we experience difficulty with discernment, challenge making even the simplest of decisions, and we can be carried away by other people’s intentions, dramas and energies.   

Plants teach us through their form, chemistry, color, taste, behavior and spirit, how to reach for the vitality that they embody and emanate. That can be through enjoying a regular cup of rose petal and hawthorn berry tea when you are going through a difficult time or plucking wild raspberries on a steamy summer day with a humble curiosity for what she may whisper in your ear. 

Sit in the presence of these plants and take notice of yourself, the subtle sensations you experience. Ask them quietly the questions that your most delicate parts need council on. Just be with them in their bareness (and yours), in their fullness (and yours), whatever time of year you choose; they have wisdom to share.

As the days increase and the extroverted seasons take form, it is a ripe moment to remember that the fortification of our own sacred space, as well as those of all beings, are worth tending to, honoring and protecting. Take good care of yourself. I honor your thorns.