“There’s no such thing as weeds.”
Nettle Stings and Dock Leaves
My Granny never used to tire in telling me. “Learn patience child, not all remedies can be administered on the spot. Not all spots are made of Nettles!” Forever to be followed by a chuckle (due to my constant stumbling into patches of Nettles forever ambushing me in the glorious meadows and forests near her home). Which is also a reason for my ‘fore’forename of ‘Calamity’.
As much as my Granny was gifted with the attraction for Nature, my Grandad was the first one to teach me an actual remedy. And one that stays with me to this very day (and also still use).
On visiting my Grandparents’ new home in rural Wales, the first display of my characteristic clumsiness happened when walking out onto the pathway at the side of their house, I tripped over the step, managed to save myself (acquired skill of many moons), regained my balance and did a twirl to show off to my Grandad, followed by my arms flailing straight into a crop of Nettles that hadn’t been removed yet (they’d only just moved in and the garden was a wilderness at first). A lesson in Pride.
Grandad immediately went off in search of something, he ventured all of three paving stones of pathway before crouching down and plucking some large leaves from the ground near the Nettle patch. Rolling a few of them together in his hands until he’d broken the leaves up and dark green juice was marking his hands. He came over to me as I held my arms out to him, the stinging and burning just about getting into full assault on my six summer’s old skin. He covered the angry red blotches with his hands and held them there until the pain subsided. Grandad then proceeded to tell me that you will always find Dock Leaves living near Nettles, due to Nature’s harmony.
Lesson learned and plenty used.