Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Where do we come from???

I am on a quest! There was a time when I didn't think much about my heritage really, I mean I was born in NY and lived there until I was 9, then my parents separated and my mom moved my sister and I to The Island of Enchantment. Awed by her beauty as a child, life then was too tumultuous to enjoy where I was living. There are a few distinct things that have stood with me, like the smell of the Island when you get off the airplane it is unmistakable. You can smell her richness and hear the rhythm of her song. Or being able to pick the acerolas they are in the cherry family. The mangos and quenepas, my favorite. Or how about hanging out in the beach with the delicious salsa or merengue music in the background. My favorite smell in the whole wide world is burnt wood, because my great-grandmother used to burn piles in her backyard. Really it's my favorite smell.  I can appreciate that now. Sometimes I am struck by a bug of sorts to dig into that heritage of mine. Today I have been bitten badly. As a studying community
herbalist I often think of my ancestors and family. I wonder whether
or not I come from a long line of "Herbalist" the complication is that
unlike our modern days where herbalism can be separated from a
religion in generations before us we know that is not the case.
I want to better understand what my family heritage is?

I also want to know what herbs are used on the Island? What
remedies do they use? How have they preserved the knowledge
base that dates way back? I am curious so I spoke to my mother and
am going to speak with my grandmother and document as much as
possible. I found some books that talk about healers in P.R. I hope to purchase them soon and get reading. It's kinda funny when I think about it, I would have never imagined feeling so hungry for a better understanding of the pieces that make me. In my blood runs, Taino Indian blood, Spaniard blood and who knows what else. I was told that one of my great grandmothers was a midwife and people often went to her because she knew how to get babies to turn in the belly.
I am excited at what I will find. I am going to document all that I learn for posterity. I will report any herbal findings on my herbal blog.

How do you move forward without knowing your past. Even as someone who has chosen to follow HaShem and who's faith is in essence Jewish and many customs to me feel as natural as day. I can't disconnect my where I come from. It seems the older I get the more I long to have an established sense and understanding of these things. This stuff rattles my brain often like puzzle pieces. I think it is due time I put some of it together so that there is some sort of continuity.

Sorry for the long ramble I just am almost sure someone else out there knows what I mean. For those who have the blessing of a known family tree, of great grandparents and a history enjoy it and don't take it for granted. It is important, it doesn't make you but it is part of you.


  1. I would so love to know the history of my family as well.
    Group coordinator for The Artistic Mother's Art Group

  2. hi Mom! I awarded you!


    Please do it!

  3. With two adopted daughters I understand the curiosity that pushes you to seek more information. I hope that my daughters will someday be blessed even with the little we've learned.
    Blessings, Kim


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