I love the angle of the sun at this time of year. It evokes nostalgia, and there is no mistake that in Traditional Chinese Medicine we label nostalgia as the dominant emotion of Late Summer. I grew up in Southern Pennsylvania and most vividly remember my Grandma Barrick’s mature black walnut tree dropping fruit in the back yard.
Have you held or dyed your fingertips with or tried to sell rotting black walnuts to the neighbors, as any self-respecting child would? If so, you remember the pungent, unique smell that sticks to your fingers and nostril hairs. I love the smell of black walnuts this time of year, though I am hard-pressed to find a tree in Central Vermont. It’s these sense memories that I recall when kicking leaves along a wooded trail. The colors and the sound accompany the memory of my favorite childhood tree and the days I used to spend with Grandma and Grandpa.
The black walnut hulls, as you know, are an incredible anti-fungal which is a medicine that I really need in my life. I admit that in the midst of the day-to-day, it is not a top priority on my list to remember to acquire the medicine I need and really use it like a good, compliant client. First I have to remember to pick up the kids at school and feed them dinner, right?! But the energy of nostalgia is a slow energy. Being nostalgic demands a certain ability to space out and slow down. And it is this exact frame of mind that we call upon to recognize that the relationship with the black walnut tree was no mistake - it was, instead a suggestion, a communication of sorts, a message from the tree of, “Hey, notice me! I am going to be very helpful to you!” I really believe this, though the hardest part is being able to make myself really slow down enough to take a walk in the crisp leaves of the woods this time of year - and open up to a little nostalgia. This slow pace also encourages me that there is, in fact, enough time to prioritize, ahem, my own health. It is the only way to heal, in fact. And so I belatedly dedicate this Autumnal Equinox to the Black Walnut Trees and their potent medicine. May we slow down enough to remember the original instructions we have each received as children, and as adults, because each of us deserves to slow down and remember. In fact, we must.
When I have trouble setting aside time to slow down and remember, I am reminded by my work how reiki balances the body with benevolent energy flowing forth from the universe. In my experience, one reiki session can remind me, through the cells of my body, of the importance of taking time and slowing down. If this healing work could help balance you this Equinox season, please contact me to schedule an appointment.
Update: Since drafting this piece, I have learned of two locations with black walnut trees near to my central Vermont home! I'm so thankful for nostalgia.