Dear Curiosity Journal,

Strolling between the garden and treeline, my gaze gravitates toward a shadowy amethyst tone in the thicket. The Elder Mother exhibits her nutant umbels, fat with fruit, inviting me to forage. I express my adoration and gratitude for such a gift and gather the clusters at the crown of their fruition. The sensation of the synergy, the interconnection, the exchange, is both ancient and auspicious, age old, and at exactly the right time. In the words of Virginia Woolf, “What a lark, what a plunge”. I’m swept up in the perfect readiness of right now and urge Rufus to accompany me on an elderberry excursion. We meander through the valley, visiting the places we’ve picked in the past. Rufus rambles down the field road to check the apple trees, but I’m bewitched by the Elder Mother, climbing up grape vines and fossils of fencing to reach the high rise boughs. Clawed by Prickly Ash and lacerated by Multi Flora Rose, I offer a few drops of blood and sweat to the roots in exchange for my potion ingredients. I stand for the remainder of the day in her service, separating berry from branchlet, lulled by the repetitious rhythm of the task, soothed by the certainty, in an elderberry trance.