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The QPH Tribe

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I went to find nettle yesterday. I walked a couple miles down the road and onto one of the Tribal natural resources roads. (They look a bit like forest service roads.) Now, they have a sign saying 'no trespassing.' As a retired Tribal employee and member of the community for the past 22 years, I didn't pay much mind.

I walked for another mile or so. Not seeing nettle, I asked her to sing to me. Not long after, there she was, a single, thin, light green plant. I went over to her. At the same moment there was a truck coming down this not-oft traveled road, the Tulalip Natural Resources Department. Inside, was a friend.

I quickly said, "I know I'm trespassing." I was greeted with a wave of the hand to ease my mine - 'that's not an issue with you.' I continued, "I'm just out looking for nettle, and she's the first I've seen."

The response was more than imagined. I was told to wait until I found an open area with sunshine. There I was to harvest the purple ones. Permission to harvest given!

A short distance further was a clearing, I assume an old homestead site. When the treaties were signed and reservations formed, The government sectioned the land into allotments and built cabins on them for the people who stayed here. They mimicked the homestead act. Needless to say, the cabins stayed empty, but the gardens and fruit trees were enjoyed. : )

Back to my story... Permission given, nettle appeared. She was small and purple for tincture, a bit larger and still deeply colored for teas, and even a big larger for eating for dinner.

In gratitude for nettle, her medicine and her joy.

BTW - there were faeries all around in those woods....

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    Lenni Cunningham


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