Places: Great Cape Herbs, Brewster MA

This June, when I turned 29, I was on Cape Cod with some of my favorite people, so I shocked even myself when I asked to spend the morning alone. On purpose. Just hanging out. 

I went to the beach and put my feet in water. I took a yoga class. And I stumbled on Great Cape Herbs.

The owner, Stephan, made me great Americano and showed me around the shop. Herbs drying! Baby chicks hatching in an incubator! While I was wondering around, people kept passing through, some tourists and some locals. They all had questions, and Stephen answered them. Sometimes, he didn't have the answer to their question, so he told them that.

As a doula, I have a touchy relationship with herbs-- I get really worried when my pregnant clients start talking about taking them will-nilly because that shit is powerful. That's why I'm so glad that there are people like Stephan who are both super knowledgeable and extremely cautious. 

One of Stephan's big projects is WORLD WAR LYME: combatting and treating Lyme Disease-- a big health issue in that part of Massachusetts. He grows his own Japanese Knotweed and processes it into tinctures that make a big different in the health of people afflicted with Lyme, but he also encourages his clients to seek help from medical doctors. 

Stephan made me a tincture for my digestion that I now put in my water each morning. It's just for me, based on what I need. Also it has a hand written label on it that says "Anna's Tummy" which pleases me very much. When I left, Stephan was already surrounded by new customers. He's got a calm air about him that feels perennially unruffled and unrushed. Like, that each person he talks to is important, but that very little of what they have to say is a surprise. It's nice.

I left Great Cape Herbs thinking a lot about the way that people take care of themselves. I thought about the way that I take care of myself based on my instincts, and the parts I leave up to experts.

This is the last year I'll spend in my 20s. Everyone keeps telling me how much happier I'll be in my 30s-- apparently I'll be more self-assured. I'll know myself and what I want. That sounds great! I'm always up for more happiness! But I feel pretty good about what I accomplished with this decade.

Discerning how to best keep myself going has been the main project of my twenties, I think. Learning how to work my body and mind. I might be happier in my thirties-- I'll take it for sure-- but I think my twenties will be the decade I learned how to take care of myself. When to take herbs and when to take medicine. When to call the doctor. When to be with friends and when to be alone.

 Or, rather, I think I'll always be learning how to take care of myself. In my twenties, I learned that it's worth my effort to get it right. I'll take that, too.

No comments:

Post a Comment