My bundle of sage was dwindling. This particular sage plant offers medicines for smudging ceremonies. I’ve heard this plant called Indian Sage, Buffalo Sage, Dakota Sage, but the sages labeled with these names in herb stores were not the plant I was looking for.
To find a place to wildharvest the sage and replenish my herb bundle became a passionate quest. The lands near my home in New Mexico were abundant with desert sagebrush, an intriguing yet distinctly different plant. So my search ended up taking me across state lines into the mountains of southern Colorado. Intuitively I headed toward an ancient rock formation which holds stories of indigenous peoples who lived there in centuries past. I felt I’d find sage in the wilderness lands surrounding the sacred site.
Walking among the towering pines, I shared a gift offering with the land and spirits to request their help in finding and harvesting the plant. I’m looking for Sage became a silent chant, a drumbeat setting the rhythm for my explorations around the land.
I found feathers. I listened to the ravens call and watched turkey vultures coast high in the winds. I shared quiet companionship with rabbits and deer. I welcomed the sight of the ancient crumbling rocks, feeling embraced by the presence of my old friends. But Sage was nowhere to be found.
Late in the afternoon, beginning the hike back to my car, my mind got consumed by distracting chatter. Had I come all this way only to return home empty-handed? I should have talked with an expert who really knows about plants. Am I just wandering around following my heart, aimlessly getting off-track?
Slowed by depleting tugs of doubt and disappointment, I stopped and stood still in the middle of the path. I breathed in the pines. I felt the earth beneath my feet. I remembered what I had come there to do.
“I’m searching for Sage,” I explained to the trees. I took a few steps into the meadow. “And Sage is searching for me,” I said, playing around.
I loved the feeling of this new possibility: I’m looking for Sage and Sage is looking for me. Instinctively we now were joined in the hunt, both seeking and searching, reaching out to meet up.
I walked on through the meadow, moving in rhythm with renewed curiosity and intent. Something lying on the ground near a tree caught my attention – a collection of bones bleached white by the sun and nestled in the earth. I leaned in to take a closer look.
And there by my foot was a sage plant, graceful stems of tiny mint-green leaves reaching out in all directions, soaking up the sun. I glanced around and discovered yet another plant and then a whole cluster and then even more. Sage plants were flourishing in the meadow. How had I not seen them before? We crossed paths in the closing steps of my journey, coming full circle, not far from where I’d started my search.
Sage taught me something essential about manifesting: It’s a mutual thing. It’s embodied in connection. What we seek we will find when we know (without a doubt) that it too is seeking us – be it a plant or a friend or abundance or love. Manifesting is a birthing, a calling-into-existence, an intimate weaving of the choice and intent of everyone and everything involved.