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Botanical Stories

“I don't want to be a writer anymore!” I shouted. The outburst was triggered by an argument that I had been having with my father. It was one we had had several times before, but the message never seemed to get through to him, or anyone else.

“What do you mean you don't want to be a writer anymore? You can't just stop being a writer. That's just stupid,” my father said giving me an appalled look. “You're a wonderful writer. That's what you're going to be when you grow up.” His reply was firm. It was as if he had already decided what my future was going to be like. I ripped up the story I held in my hand and threw down my favorite, black, ball point pen. I glared at the pen laying lifelessly on the ground for a moment before my expression softened and I leaned down to pick it back up and slip it into my pocket. I was too frustrated at the moment to be heart broken about my ruined story, but later I would regret tearing it to shreds. I'd written it for my dad.

“Daddy,” I sighed exasperated. “I want to be a scientist. I want to be a botanist. I don't want to write. I don't want fame.” My father stared at me as if he was trying to understand the meaning behind my words.

“A scientist?” he asked slowly, trying out the words. My parents did not really like the idea of my wanting to be a scientist at first. They thought that it was just going to be a phase. It was not a phase though. It is not. I love science and have loved it since my freshman year of high school. Although, the type of scientist I want to be has changed over the years, the basic idea has not.

Ink runs through my veins. I love the sound of my pen decorating the page in letters, words, sentences, paragraphs. I love writing silly stories, scary stories, funny stories. I write to entertain myself and immediate family members and friends. I write for my younger brothers and sisters. I write to make them laugh, or cry or fear. I write so that I can see the reactions of my loved ones. I like when people love my stories and I even like when people hate my stories, because at least I know they have listened to it, or read it.

But...

Writing is something that I do for fun.

Botany is my passion. I love the idea of knowing exactly where my food comes from. I love the idea of growing my own food and being able to sustain myself. I love walking through my garden and seeing all of the plants that I have grown, the fruits of my labor. I have been interested in medicinal plants since I was fairly young.

My mom is a nutritionist and has influenced my love of organic food and natural medicine. I have grown up with the idea that healthy food is good food. First and foremost, be true to your body, mind and soul. That was one of the values that my brothers, sisters and I grew up with. As a child, one of the things that I wanted to be when I grew up (directly after wanting to be a pig, because they are pink of course!) was just like my mom. But as the years have dragged on, my interests have changed and grown. I no longer wanted to be a pig, I wanted to be an astronaut, an astronomer, and finally, a botanist.

My dream is to one day have my own small, sustainable community in the mountains. Of course, this is just a dream, and like most dreams it may not come true, I know this and accept it as an almost fact. But I still like to envision it. My dream seems so small and far away, but I have spent countless hours thinking and planning about how to make it become a reality. And although, I love the idea, I have also decided to start out a bit smaller. Instead of building my own sustainable community, I would like to help families below a certain income level, to grow organic food and sustain themselves.


I would love to start some kind of non-profit organization because I am interested in helping people to become healthier in ways that are not expensive. I have heard a lot of people say that they would be more inclined to feed their families healthier food if it were not so expensive, but I think that it is important for people to know that not all healthy food tastes bad and is extremely expensive. Most people do not know that they can find healthy, nutritious food right in their own backyard. All it takes is a little knowledge about the botany in one's area, and they can pick a delicious salad out of something most people would consider weeds.


A lot of people spend copious amounts of money on dandelion greens and mint, when these things can easily be found in the nearest park. Dandelions are not just weeds, they are a plant with extremely high nutritional value that most average Americans do not even know about. People are constantly mowing down and spraying these wonderful plants that are rich with nutrition. If you were poor, would you want to go spend money on a salad that you could just as easily find in your own backyard?


If people who are struggling to figure out where their next meal were to come from, knew that there were so many alternatives right under their noses, they would be crawling around in the dirt everyday, picking those “weeds” that nobody else wants.


I want to give people, who want one, a choice. I would like to help those who want to be helped. I want to give those who would not normally have one, an alternative as to what they put into their bodies. Our bodies are our most important and valuable tools. We should be treating them with the utmost respect and care.


I want to be able to help other people, but I want to gain as much knowledge as I can before I do. I believe that I can use my skill of writing and my knowledge of plants to good use, possibly even write my own urban field guide to Colorado's botany. It would be combining two of my favorite pass times together.


I love creating stories, and I want to write to make my family and friends happy. But the study of plants is my passion, I want to use that study to help other people, not only my family, but those who really need the help.



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