Thursday I drove solo from VA to near Albany NY.  Friday before 7am (I haven’t been awake, much less functional before 9!) I left NY for #WHC30 Womens Herbal Conference (check Twitter for ride highlights).  I was initially concerned: SOOOO many women!  I did pick up a college student so she had a ride.  Originally from Portugal, she’s studied in India and now in VT.  I envy her ability to just camp all summer, finding rides as you’re able; going where the wind blows you……but I digress. 

Then I get here, pitch my tent solo (I haven’t done that in years!) And go to the opening circle….well, truth be told I was purposefully late via getting and finishing lunch, talking with a wonderful lady about shirts, trying to get one before they sold out (they didn’t have one for me left),  then figured I should just go and stop wasting time.

I entered to a song.   Sat down in the front and it felt less like this was a freaky hippy fest.  We wove songs, and a bracelet on each other’s wrist.  

Still uncertain, I dutifully went to the first class, my only paid class, an “intensive”.  It was on manifesting your business, and many good points were brought up.   What tripped me out most about it was my partner.  Originally with someone else, we were switched before class began, and I swear she is a sister from another mother.  We both want to start herbal clinics, but have little “training” and feel we are just beginning our herbal journey.  Just a total kinship with someone from Philly.  We exchanged info to hold each other accountable to our business plans.
Then comes dinner.  I scout around for ladies whom are my age….and found some that graciously allowed me to sit with them.  Three are from ontario and the other from 1 county south of where I was raised in NY.  The conversation swirls, I play the dance…..and they took my social awkwardness in stride as we spoke of ages.  They took me to the end of the day activities: more singing, dancing, storytelling;

A fire dancer…

An aerialist….

Then home to bed.  I got hugs, my new sisters watched out for me, making sure I was with them….cared for……and I’m a noob!

Now what I haven’t yet discussed my feelings.  Well, I was feeling mounting dread as the night progressed.  Feeling that I was surrounded with greatness and beginning to feel more and more like I’m not even worthy to be here.  These amazing people-I’ve read their books, listened to them on various podcasts….I know of them… just be hanging shoulder to shoulder is a paradigm shift I wasn’t expecting.

So as this dread is pooling, 2 things happen.  Wendy Fogg is on stage directing a speech to the first-timers to just be open to whatever happens.  “We believe and support you.  I believe in you.”

Secondly, I received an email from a complete stranger informing me she likes my energy and wants to meet me.  Me?  She’s not even in the same state!  And through these little dots of black, I’ve made an impression.

How to summarize this day?


Full of love, life, light and direction.

We sang so many songs, I’ve lost them already….but I will tell you that people are creating harmonies, weaving their voices among the din the best they know how….what an amazing web we weave with each other.

Hopefully I can post again tomorrow night;

-Pati D.

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