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Welcome to my Library and Hello to your Dragon Nature

I’ve started a personal library! It’s called the Greenwood Library in Forest Halls. The first book I scanned into the collection was the children’s herbal fantasy, Wise Child, (wise woman Juniper also plays the harp!) and the first book loaned is Flowers and Fables: a Welsh Herbal (both pictured here). You’re invited to browse the library. I’ll be adding many more items over the coming weeks — so easy to do with the app on my phone! Loans are available to on-islanders and other local folk. If you live out of the area (as many of you do), I hope this library will point you to some of the great resources that are available out in the world.

Greenwood Library "Firsts"
First book  entered into the system, first book loaned. Bookmarks are serve as reminders that these are library loans.

My 11-year-old self is in heaven. As a sixth-grader abandoned at the start of the school year by my until-then best friends (who, during the previous summer, had embarked on a mission to become popular), I deepened my friendship with the girl across the street. We spent  many recesses, lunch hours, and after school hours reading and imagining together, and much of that time was in our school library. My best friend Jenny had been helping the librarian with the circulation cards. When Jenny shared this part of her world with me and I started helping too, well, that opened the door to a new kind of awesomeness!

With my library, with its online catalog linked to the global world of books, my twenties self is in heaven too. The jobs I loved most as a young adult were the years I worked as a Library Specialist in Interlibrary Services at the Stanford University’s Green Library. My work involved tracking down and retrieving books and making photocopies of articles from the myriad campus libraries and from Green Library’s mysterious stacks and labyrinthine regions (some so little used and remote that you had to snap on the lights when you entered some  areas, and snap them off when you left).

And quite happy too, thank you very much, is my inner dragon and voracious lifelong learner self who has always loved books, gathering information, and prowling the long shadowed corridors of the anima mundi, nudging open the compact shelving of the heart with secret words, and discovering the hidden treasures that nestle within each one of us and which glimmer and ring with the true nature that is the world.

It seems that with the opening of this library, I’m saying yes to my imagination. So here is fair warning to you, and an invitation. With the opening of this library, I dedicate this blog to fully expressing my magical life and peculiar take on this world, and to welcoming you into a story of myth and medicine, true nature and kindness. This walk through the woods and words, however, isn’t a one-directional path. It, I hope, is a conversation, a polyphonic and polyrhythmic musical improvisation, a reciprocal sharing of resources in terms of tales and imaginings and illuminations, such as is enjoyed in book and article form by the research libraries for whom I once served.  I look forward to hearing your stories, your ways of perception, the heart of the world as it expresses within your singular and beautiful dragon nature.

Water Snake Wonderings - art
Wonders at the Heart of our Nature – art by Jane Valencia

How is magic and sweet surprise alive and well in your world? How do you live it out in your daily life with family, friends, community, and with nature? How does your unique take on life and your way of being nourish the children, help heal culture, and better our world? How do you experience yourself as Nature, as a child of the earth, imagination, and the Sacred? How can you and I grow our magical nature — our medicine selves — in service to living out our responses to questions such as these? What are your dragon nature questions?

These wonderings are the waters from which this blog springs.

I invite you to record your musings in the comments box below.

Visit the Greenwood Library in Forest Halls here.

Books Are Magical Doors

Herba Magica: Ripe Salmonberry

Plants offer us a doorway into a very different sense of time and into the wonder that interweaves our world and is right outside. This plant, Salmonberry, is a particular friend and ally to those of us in the Pacific Northwest, coaxing us to head off-trail to taste wildness. What invariably happens is that one taste leads to the next and to the next, and soon we are in the greenwood, ignoring tangles, getting leaves in our hair, little jabs in our hands and arms, and delighting in sour-sweet abundance, even gorging on it, our child nature shouting, “Yeah!!!!!”

Which plants coax you to taste? Which ones lead you off-trail and into playful nature? Which awaken the green and giving wild within you? How does that quality of wild express itself in your life? Please share in the comment box below!

Herba Magica - Ripe Salmonberry Photo and Info
Herba Magica: Ripe Salmonberry by Jane Valencia