Hello, I'm Hannah Goette, massage therapist, business owner and this month I am celebrating the first anniversary of my massage practice in Downtown Hudson, Dewdrop Massage! Let me tell you something about who I am, beyond the person who lays her hands on someone, giving a therapeutic massage.
I want to start with a story about how I became friends with chamomile, an herb with healing traits. I've always liked chamomile tea. So, last year, I planted some in my garden. I planted the annual form of chamomile and did not expect it to make another appearance. But this year, chamomile came popping up again as if it couldn't stay away from me. It was cozying up to my marigolds and tomatoes.
Chamomile called me to come closer. I watched the center of the flower start as a pale yellow-green circle, with skinny white-green petals. Then the flowers matured, the center turns bright yellow and rises into a plump ball of gold. The petals turn all white and open like a daisy.
Eventually, the petals point to the ground like a badminton birdie. They look as if they are reaching up to the sky, asking to be picked. Finally, the petals fall off and the flower top reveals chamomile's tiny light-brown seeds. They easily separate when I rub them between my fingers, as if to say it's the right time for planting more.
As a thank you, I spread the seeds around the garden. You're welcome, said chamomile, springing up in abundance, big and bushy. The more flowers I pick, the more they grow back.
The flowers smell like a dish of pineapple and banana. I dried out the harvested flowers to make chamomile tea. I have a jarful in my kitchen, with a deep connection to it because I spent the summer with its flowers.
An herbalism teacher once told me that plants can talk to us; we just have to know how to listen. I didn't read about the best time to harvest chamomile; I discovered it by listening through sight, smell and touch.
I believe that within the tangible body of a plant or a human being, there is a path to the subtle energy or essence of a living thing. I developed a relationship with chamomile, through keen presence, leading me to know when it's ready for harvest.
It's like the relationship I have with each person who comes to my massage studio. Guided by my client's energy, I listen with my hands, heart and intuition, becoming in sync with body and soul.