Monday, June 24, 2013

The Old Ways


Red elderberries, sambucus racemosa.  There they were, growing along the shaded roadway.

Gertie snipped a cluster and put them into the basket of the ancient Schwinn.  She’d found the last item on her list and could head home where Granny waited.  Granddad had the shingles again and these berries were needed to make a poultice to treat the fierce boils.

Granny was half Chinook Indian.  Her only medicines came from the forests and the sea.  Her only foods, grown or gathered by her own two hands.    

Ninety-seven years, give or take a few, were proof that the old ways worked.