If you drive far enough up the highway to the desert side of the mountains, the plants begin to change. You’ll begin to encounter a plant which grows in abundance at my Uncle’s place in Sierra Valley - Big Sagebrush (Artemesia tridentata)
Big sagebrush is an important plant. It can be used for purification in the sweat lodge, disinfection, and to cure colds and stomachaches, along with many other traditional uses. While last at my uncle’s place during New Year, I wandered his property, and walked through the abundant sagebrush. I collected a small amount, which I bundled and gave to relatives and a friend, and kept one for myself, which now hangs on my kitchen cabinet.
Now, whenever I need a moment of peace, I take a deep breath of the fragrant bundle and am transported back to the beauty of Sierra Valley where it covers the landscape and perfumes the air. I am reminded of the rustic comfort of my uncle's land, which has become a cherished place for all of my family. And on this last hike of mine, I realized that this is a plant that I am developing a special relationship with.
|Out with the Big Sagebrush - Sierra Valley, CA|