21 March 2006


I went walking this afternoon in a hardwood stand near my
home. This hardwood area is composed mostly of beech trees,
with scattered growth of poplar, ash and maple. The leaves
from last year's cycle are plentiful on the ground, and made
a crunching sound as I walked over them. The sun was
shining through the stand of trees, and warmed my face as
I took a seat on a old log -- a beech tree that had fallen to the
ground a couple of seasons ago.

I sat on that log, feeling the warmth from the sun, and thinking
about the medicine of the beech tree. Years ago, an old
Mi'kmaq woman told me that she treated TB with the "winter
beech" leaves. It took me a while to understand what she
meant, when she referred to winter beech? She meant those
leaves that remain on the beech tree throughout the winter
season. Those were the leaves she would steep and use for
medicine, including the treatment of TB. I have never
forgotten my conversations with that old lady. She was a
Mi'kmaq elder, and a woman with lots of medicine

My best wishes to everyone!