Respect is a Yes! beforehand

lately i’ve been searching the web to uncover more about what it means to be an herbalisti’ve been watching youtube videos, reading articles, looking at schools and perusing mentor profiles and specialties to see what’s out there. if you know me at all, you know i love plants! and i am enamored with the healing potential of plants in their relationship with humans. i’ve been pursuing this path (even unknowingly) for the last 5 years. as i am searching the web, of course i stumble upon the wise woman university website and start perusing the mentor offerings.

i follow my intuition in life; that mysterious inner guiding principle available to us all trusting that it will take me where i need to go. growing it stronger through practice. today i felt attracted to one woman’s offerings so i started to read her poetry. this one in particular touched me (found here),

“DID SHE SAY YES?

And did you ask her permission
As you poured thick slabs of concrete
Upon her fertile belly, kissed by the sun for aeons?
And did she answer, “Yes, of course I don’t mind, do as you will”

And did you ask, “May I?”
As you ripped ancient trees from her deep forests
Tearing their roots from her abundant womb
Where they long gathered sustenance from her underworld realm

And did you ask, “Is it alright if we pollute your sparkling rivers,
The flowing veins shining between your loins?”
And did she answer, “Yes, go ahead, I don’t care
I don’t need them”

And did you ask her permission
To trespass upon this sacred home of your belonging
Your beloved Earth
Who gives you so much?

And did you say, “Thank you!”
Falling to your knees in gratitude
Upon her verdant grass,
Her rich moist soil?

And did you say, “Sorry!”
For all you have taken
From this Mother Earth
Whose loving strength is your support?

And did you ask so gently
If you could touch her body,
The body of the Earth
In this way?

And did she open, yielding so softly, so sweetly to your axes,
Your bulldozers, your chainsaws, your bombs?
And did she surrender generously, without choice or complaint
To your greed, your plunder, your ignorance, your force?

And did she say, “Yes!””

~Roslyne Sophia Breillat © 2010


i see so much environmental disrespect as i travel through life. all of this that she brings up, i have seen. i have seen this happen to women’s bodies, too. i have felt the repercussions of this entitlement toward exploitation, toward possession: this thing is here for me, i should take it no matter the cost.

consent is an oft-used word these days. consent is an enthusiastic YES! in sex & relationship in the place of silence, or even at times NO! consent is changing how people communicate about sexuality & sharing themselves; how they relate to one another. i hope we can extend this conversation about consent to our relationship with our Mother Earth for we’ve been taking advantage of her body far too long without asking her first- is it okay if i take this from here? is it okay if i build this here? she is a living entity and deserves the same respect people do. time for a huge #paradigm shift. 

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