Reaching Out to Meet Up

by JoAnne Dodgson

My bundle of sage was dwindling. This particular sage plant offers beautiful medicines for smudging ceremonies. What I love about the smudging sage is the way the dried silvery green leaves can be crumpled into a ball. Once lit, they gently burn like an ember. On this burning ember, other plant medicines can be added — cedar, sweetgrass, osha, juniper, oak. This allows for a natural smudging ceremony, similar to the old ways.

To wild-harvest the sage and replenish my herb bundle — this became a passionate quest. 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 sensed 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, plant nations and spirits to request their help in finding the smudging herb. 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 and watched turkey vultures coast and 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 the 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? Why hadn’t I talked with an expert who really knows something about plants?

Am I just wandering around following my heart and 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 said out loud to the trees.

“And Sage is searching for me,” I said with a smile, playing around.

I really loved the feeling of the possibility I’d just found. 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 with renewed curiosity and intent. Something lying on the ground near a tree caught my attention. I leaned in to take a closer look at the collection of bones bleached white by the sun and nestled in the earth.

And there beside the bones, right next to 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. 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. It’s an intimate weaving of the choice and intent of everyone and everything involved.

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.

About a year after my wild-harvesting adventure, I noticed my bundle of smudging herbs needed replenishing. It didn’t seem I’d have a chance before the first frost to travel north to gather more of my beloved sage.

Hiking around the mesas near my house, I looked for other medicinal plants for a fall harvest. I walked along the pathway of the dry riverbed I call Mama Arroyo. She’s a wild curving passage through rocks and desert soils shaped by rushing waters from thunderstorms and snowmelt. All other tributaries branch off from and connect back with her.

I stopped to rest along the banks of the Mama Arroyo at a confluence of pathways I’d wandered through countless times. Lying down on warm soils beneath turquoise blue skies, a particular shade of silvery green caught my eye.

Our natural ability to manifest thrives inside the knowing that anything and everything is essentially within our reach.

There among the wildflowers and gnarled tree roots was a sage plant! Graceful stems of tiny mint-green leaves reaching out in all directions, soaking up the sun. I looked around and found another sage plant. Then a whole cluster. And then even more. An entire community of sage plants.

How had I not seen them before?

Sage magically appeared to help me awaken a knowing I hadn’t quite fully grasped. Manifesting is an easeful and natural thing. It’s an organic unfolding, rooted in our passions. Remembering what we love. What we really want. What it is we’ve come here to do.

Claiming our dreams and following our hearts, trusting ourselves and the universe — these are vital nourishments for any manifestation quest. Self-imposed pressure, stress, force and fears will distract and misguide us, blind us and keep us stuck.

Our natural ability to manifest thrives inside the knowing that anything and everything is essentially within our reach.

Sage showed me that what we are searching for is often much closer to home than we think.

Photo courtesy Raffi Kojian at

Journal, Volume 2 Issue 4