From my “column” in the most recent Newsletter:
Eric was invited to present a distillation demo at this year’s Beyond Aromatics conference put on by the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy. What an epic logistical feat it was, with organizers and other angels pulling miracles behind the scenes to make it happen. Eric left the vendor’s table at noon thinking he’d have the still still set up at the park by 3, so there’d be plenty of time for the retort to heat up and the steam to make its way through the plant material and start the essential oil flowing. But first he needed to pick up a rental trailer with a 500 gallon tank on it and fill it with water. (“What?!? There’s no water available at the park?” This was just days before the conference.) With a stone-age map app, some dyslexia with directions, confusion about the name of the park and the rental store, not to mention the wrong trailer hitch, a blow torch, negotiations with a gas station owner to partially fill the water tank for 20 bucks, and several games of phone tag later, Eric pulled into the park at 4:30 pm in go mode.
By then the help he needed had arrived (THANK YOU NIKKO!), and they got it set up and going pretty quickly. There was no time to think, worry, or get nervous. When the first shuttle bus full of people arrived from the conference center, Eric was floored. This was a bigger audience than he had ever spoken to, and he realized he’d been wondering if anyone would even show up. But one face was missing. “Where’s Amber?” Oh well, he thought, she must have gotten caught up at the vendor table. She must not be coming. OK.
Then the second shuttle arrived, and the people poured out of it. And there she was! (He hurried to embrace me, with trembling hands, tears in his eyes and a lump in his throat.) All was proven worthwhile as a hush fell across the crowd gathered under a city park picnic shelter with tall Spruce trees standing guard all around and the setting sun painting the sky dramatic shades of red behind us. The steam came up into the condensing tower, the oil began to burble up through the decanter, Eric spun a tale of magic and plant medicine intrigue, and all was well. Of course it was.
OWL SPEAK was the codistillation happening at the demo: thank you Juniper and Sage! Protector plants, clearers of obstacles, helping to navigate life’s twists and turns.