A Herbalist’s Pilgrimage to Tulum
Tulum has always held a special place in my heart. My first visit was in 2009 and I instantly fell in love with her people, ruins, beaches, city and plants.
Since that time I’ve made many visits around the Yucatan – Merida, Valladolid – all lovely places with unique personality. So in choosing all places to visit again, I chose Tulum.
This trip to Tulum was special. I was alone, with dictionary in hand. Sort of a soul-searching trip with not much on the books save for rest, eating, beach and plant study with my Maya friend and teacher Don Daniel.
I came down here again to recognize my own transformation over the years and the beauty of growing into my skin – despite all the heartache and pain of moving through that ever changing life of our’s. I needed to be able to document it for me as a reminder that life molds us like clay. And that we are shaped by so many people and experiences and not to push away any of it but embrace it. Pull it closer.
I needed to see for myself that I didn’t push any of it away- but rather embraced the challenges over the past years, survived and am vital and full of life. No matter how painful it is to go into the darkness, dig deep and find the source of what really makes “us.” Put those roots deeper into the earth. Add water. Soil. Sun. Grow.
Appropriately enough, Tulum in Maya is translated as New Beginnings.
I traveled to the ocean to wash away the detritus of the past few years with the salt water beneath the ruins. To release myself from the strangling anxiety and to be open to new experiences for the future, to reconnect with the plants that first called me to be an herbalist.
To find rest and renewal and encouragement, to dig deep and be courageous to “live in the not knowing” – as Don Draper would say.
To be free.