Thanking Mr. LePlante

Although my body has responded better to the sledgehammer approach of western medicine that the subtleties of alternative medicine, I was willing to be an experimental subject for Matthew Woods’ Friday evening pulse and face diagnoses class at TIVI, the Inner Vision Institute that recently started up in La Mesilla, just north of Santa Fe. I hope that if I can get my liver function and circulation stabilized, my body may be able to regain some sense of how to maintain its homeostasis.But persuading my body that this is a priority has been a challenge.

He tried a drop or two of burdock root, one of the general liver remedies in North America, which did very little for me.Then Matt tried a drop of California Bay Laurel tincture on my wrist. That got my body’s attention. My immediate reaction was a brief but intense full five senses memory of the weeks I spent living in big redwood geodesic dome in Humboldt county in Northern California. The members of the class saw changes in my pulses and eyes, but I had to attend more to the outer environment than my inner changes until I got home.

Once in bed and drifting between waking and sleeping, I found myself walking familiar rolling golden California hilltops with a tall lanky grey-skinned fellow who informed he was Mr. Le Plante. Once again, I had a beautiful view from the top of a hill overlooking the redwood forests and salt marshes that led to the sea. I could watch the fog rolling inland through the red wood forest until it stopped just below the golden grasses that covered the soft rolling crest of the hill as the temperature dropped.

Now, one of my parents’ good friends from college was named Robert Le Plante. And when I asked the fellow if he was a friend of my father’s he assured me that he was. We spent quite some time organizing the warehouses, workers, grounds and offices of what appeared to be a tree nursery.

Since both my father and grandfather worked with tree nursery’s, green houses and landscaping this all felt quite familiar to me. Then Mr. Le Plante put his arm around my shoulders and led me to look out the window of his office. I found myself looking out over the flat green lands of southeast Texas and southern Louisiana at several of the giant grasshopper looking machinery that pumps crude oil up out of the ground.

Mr. Le Plante assuring me that all my oil pumps were in working order now it was so incongruous with my childhood memories that it startled me awake. Once I was fully awake I realized that yes, Mr. Le Plante was friends with my father because he was the California Bay Laurel tree spirit and my father’s family were tree- keepers. And chances were that the oil pumps he was showing me had more to do with my liver’s ability to process fats than with the Gulf Coast oil industry.

I had not thought of Bay trees as bodhisattva trees, but it was during that stay that I found my way to survive and transmute the malignant narcissism that has consumed my family of origin for generations. And, it was the shade and scent of the grove of California Bay Laurel trees that spiced the morning breeze and filled the afternoon stillness that helped me to transmute both physical and spiritual toxins that I was faced with.

I had been a bit alarmed when I read recently that the Mayo clinic now considers fatty liver disease one of the top three causes of death, in part because it so often leads to liver cancer. Cancer is the physical disease that embodies all the characteristics of malignant narcissism. It consumes all resources, ever expanding its reach until it destroys its host and so dies itself.

I am not a typical fatty liver patient because my contributing factors are trauma, metabolic acidosis and hypothyroidism, not alcoholism, a high-fructose diet and a sedentary life style. All the same, I was  and relieved when the dynamic of malignant narcissism broke down in my inner and outer environments. Detox is something I can handle.

The grace of herbal medicine is that I do not have to understand how much of the change in my body is simply due to my encounter with California Bay Laurel bringing up old memories. I do not need to know how much is California Bay Laurel affecting my present liver function. Nor do I have to know how much is due to the grove of California Bay Laurel being able to offer me a key to unlock old survival patterns because the plant spirit helped me establish them during those weeks I lived in their midst.

I just need to give my thanks to Mr. LePlante for his help and to Matthew Wood without whom I would not have been able to make contact with one of my old friends in the plant world. Even with global warming, it is still too cold for California Bay Laurel to thrive at the seven thousand foot altitude of Santa Fe.


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