Plant Study of Mallow
One full day of the program is devoted to a field trip to a mountain wildflower meadow. The experience culminates in a plant study assignment, encompassing a detailed objective observation of the plant, and then moving to more imaginative images, grounded in the sense perception, yet touching on the soul gestures and qualities that can be experienced from the plant.
Here are some excerpts and drawings from an excellent study by Dina Martinez, a clinical psychologist and psychotherapist from Mexico, at the 1999 FES Practitioner Training. The mountain species of Mallow (Sidalcea glauscens) was ubiquitous on the Granlibakken grounds and throughout Paige Meadows. Dina's observations and insights deepen our understanding of the Mallow flower essence as a builder of human warmth and contact.
It is a small flower, round, 2 cm in diameter, forming a cup with 5 exact petals, well defined in symmetry, orienting itself upward. The petals (10 -12 cm) have a color between pink and purple that fades into an almost white center of the flower, where a pink style ends in a white stigma, crowned by tiny little anthers that seem like white needle heads. The calyx (6-7 mm) has also 5 dark green sepals that hold the petals forming a cone From the soil, a 12" rounded, woody, slim, dark green stem twines though and between other plants and flowers. The leaves metamorphose from a 7-lobed form into narrow divisions at the bottom of the plant , to an almost radial 7-part leaf, but with no divisions, in the middle of the plant, into a 4-part simple leaf near the buds and flowers....
My imaginative perception is that they are "catching" the light of the sun in a very pure way...This radiant light force is so special that the leaves (their arms) can divide and spread, able to "relate" or "touch" surrounding plants. Their gesture is a constant, invisible, unending movement among neighboring plants....like a very gentle, peaceful, respectful minuet, in which the "touching" consists only in "taking of the other by the hand" for several moments, then letting go, dancing some more.... This expresses the quality of the Mallow essence, "Soul flourishing through friendship and social exchange." It is a minuet dance in which people touch their souls in a constant, gentle, very gratifying way; within a rhythm, a contact, a mutual correspondence.
is a dance in which we touch,
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