Dear Curiosity Journal,

When I first heard an herbalist talk about the plants “calling” to her, I had a multi-level response. The knee-jerk, probably conditioned reaction was a resistance to the “woo-woo” nature of the statement, but as I mulled it over, I reached a deeper layer of accepting the probability that plants and people have been in relationship forever and some communication between us was likely to develop. After 8 years of close-knit kinship with plants, I clearly recognize “the call” and do not hesitate to answer it. So, when the elderflowers flagged me down, signaling their readiness, I dropped what I was doing like an obedient schoolgirl. I understood the assignment, and with my basket in hand, I met her in the field. Swarmed by gnats, sticky with humidity, and dive-bombed by red-winged blackbirds with nearby nests, I persisted in my task. I was rewarded with a beautiful bounty of elderflowers, which I snipped from stems, and laid on trays late into the night, because when Mother Nature is your boss, you are on Her time. Many of the umbels in full sun had already transitioned into berries. It was mostly the shaded bushes that still held onto their flowers. If I would have ignored the call, I would have missed them completely.