During this 5 week solo trip, I learned all about the complexities and difficulties of making essences in other countries and getting them home alive. There were many obstacles, frustrations and breakthroughs.
I arrived shortly after the tsunami had devastated the western coast of the southern islands of Thailand. At the airport in Bangkok, there was a strange mix of relief workers and tourists heading for the islands. Apparently the eastern coasts of these islands were still opened for business while on the western coast, workers were still digging up corpses. The papers were proclaiming that the Department of Interior had detected the quake and had begun to issue warnings to the islands but were stifled by the TAT (the very powerful Thailand Tourist Association). There was fear that the islands would lose business because of the alert. instead, 230,000 people lost their lives.
The essence making lessons of this trip included:
You have to travel many miles away from the cities to make essences.
Carrying 4 ounce bottles of mother essences is difficult. It is better to make a few and mail them.
It is impossible to drive in Thailand since all of the street signs are written in Thai.
Mailing essences is expensive and complicated. Putting them in your luggage is risky. DHL searched my boxes and did not know what flower essences were. Customs opened the boxes and one of the essence bottles. All but one made it home safely.
Making essences attracts attention. People are curious and suspicious.
Traveling alone is fun if you like adventure - get off the tourist path if you want an authentic experience.
After 5 weeks, I had made 30 flower essences and 6 gem elixirs. All had been mailed and were safely back in the U.S before I headed home. The most fruitful destinations for wild flowers were: the Pai Valley, Mae Hong Son, near the Burmese border, Hang Dong, Kuhn Tan Mountain Park and Mae Sa waterfall, outside of Chang Mai. I took trains, buses, motor scooters and hiked my ass off. It was truly fulfilling.
The Thai people are lovely. They are, for the most part, fervent and devout Buddhists. The essences from Thailand have a very “inner” quality.
This is my experience making the fire pea (photo included) essence in Mae Hong Son, a remote village in the extreme north of Thailand:
“The essence making takes most of the morning. I can see many flowers but want to be patient and find the ones that have pulled me here. I can hear a subtle sound coming from both inside of me and outside. I bypass several lovely flowers as the sound gets louder. It is a distinctly Asian sound like a bamboo wind chime in a soft breeze. It gets louder still and as I bend down to observe a very small pea-like flower, it stops. All is silent as I regard this bright red and yellow beauty. There is a spider on the plant that seems to be gesturing to me. It stops moving. Suddenly I notice everything around me is quiet. No one is around. Even the breeze off the river is still. "Go inside", says the spider. Now the flower becomes a hooded monk who is gathering wheat or rice. I can feel the passion of his dedication and simultaneously the silence of his mind. It is not a paradox but polarities that work towards enlightenment. The moment passes and I look up. There are people around. The spider is gone. I make this essence with a special kind of feeling that I am right where I am supposed to be.”
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