Reclaiming My Voice

Tammy Mundy, Herbalist, Charlottesville, VA

I just read over some of the posts I wrote here over the last couple of years, and find myself feeling very sad, even shedding tears.  I think I am mourning the spiritual connection and authenticity that exuded from my writing as I was on the threshold of a major transition in my life.  I seem to have misplaced that connection, along with my writer’s voice, as I have navigated the waters of tremendous change recently, and I long to have it back again.

You’ve probably noticed that I haven’t been writing very much here at all the last year or two.  Back when my marriage was ending in 2008, I found that my writing voice was stronger than it had ever been. During that time I was suffocating and needing freedom, and I found space through which to breathe via my relationships with plants and my writing on WitchenKitchen. Oh the dreams I dreamed, the insights I gained, the personal growth I experienced during that time!  I connected to the plants and my innermost self when I couldn’t connect to my partner, and my, how the words did flow!

But when that relationship was actually over, I unexpectedly found myself adrift at sea with nothing but emotional survival on my mind.  I no longer had a home with plants I knew intimately just outside my door, no herb cupboard or kitchen to experiment in.  By my own choice, I moved all my furniture and personal belongings to a hot, musty storage unit, put my jars of tinctures and oils and dried herbs into boxes and stacked them in a spare room at my mother’s house. I knew I would get back to them someday, but for the time being, I could only look longingly at the boxes.

I wouldn’t even open those boxes to get tea ingredients, because I knew I’d only have to pack them up again, and it was all just too, too sad for me.  During this transition, I couldn’t communicate at all with the plants, could barely even go outside and just sit with them.  I could hardly write a word on the topic, save short little snippets on my Facebook page.

Then a little while later, I fell in love and started a new relationship.  Suddenly I was whirling around, caught up in a fantastic and blissful adventure.  You’d think my thoughts would be overflowing and spilling from my pen, but being in love can be one of the most overwhelming things a person can experience.  As we busily went about establishing the foundations for a long term relationship and making a home together, I still could not find my spiritual center, and I could not write.

I tried a few times.  I can’t tell you how many drafts of articles I penned, but ultimately trashed because they had no authenticity.

As my partner and I began our journey together, I unpacked most of my herbs and put them in a cupboard in our home just for them, but I would almost never go get anything out to actually use.  I grew vegetable gardens, but that was hardly a substitute for connecting with wild plants as I had once done.  I would walk around our yard sometimes looking at wild, growing things, but lacked the motivation to go get my books and try to i.d. the unknown plants, or bring any of them into my kitchen to get to know them better. I maintained my interest and a certain longing, but from a distant, uncommitted place.

My priority and focus through all this relationship upheaval has been to re-establish solid human connections…  the plants and my writing, well, they just had to wait.

My new relationship has stabilized and grown a solid base now, and I feel my feet touching the Earth again.  I feel I have regained a home base and roots from which to spread my branches. My heart is telling me that I can now safely turn my attention elsewhere from time to time and be sure that I won’t go spinning off into the unknown, unconnected abyss. I am ready to reclaim myself, my spiritual connections, and my words.

I felt my passion for all things green rekindling during our recent family beach vacation, when the local plants began calling out to me again. I heard them intensely and insistently, and felt a familiar and overwhelming desire to research and write about them again.  Perhaps they have been calling all along, but only now have I come to a resting spot where I can hear them.

I hope you will continue this journey with me, as I find the words to share it with you here.



5 Responses to “Reclaiming My Voice”

  1. Wendy on 08 Jul 2010 at 1:13 pm

    There you are!

  2. Caryn on 08 Jul 2010 at 5:47 pm

    Soooooo good to have you back. Love from Australia

    c x

  3. greencat on 12 Jul 2010 at 4:03 pm

    Thanks for sharing. I am hoping I will see light at the end of my tunnel. I am going through my own transition (not my choice). My copilot of 25 years doesn’t want to fly with me anymore. Says he found someone new.
    Don’t know if I can make it solo.

  4. splash on 20 Jul 2010 at 11:47 am

    I stumbled upon your blog today and just felt all your pain in the writing so I am sending love and energy to you to reclaim your voice and rejoin your spiritual journey. I have lost my spiritual journey too and I know how painful and it is to feel so disconnected and abandoned.

    So, here is to both of us and to the joy the future holds.

  5. Sarah Head on 23 Jul 2010 at 8:54 am

    Soooo good to see you back writing again, Tammy! I’ve missed you! Even through your absence, I had a sense you would return when the time was right. I am so glad everything is working out well for you. :)

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