Guest Blog: Leaning into reciprocity by letty chichitonyolotli martinez

As we begin to emerge from the dark cocoon of winter, where our roots have been working to decide what to grow, our branches breaking and pruning with the winds of change, you may find that you need some nourishment. 


The sunlight is upon us longer, the soil is thawing, and the mycorrhizal network of the soil seems to be humming with activation. 

Tucked in and holed up our roots need nourishment. Our limbs, ready to expand and stretch out with buds of hope and dreams coming to form and will begin to unfurl and capture the sunlight. Warming our bodies, nourishing our spirit with the reminder that life continues and the work continues. Rest in of itself is a kind of work. Necessary for us to digest and integrate lessons, healing, and grounding. 

And as we enter into spring we get to reconnect to the natural world in new ways with new eyes and renewed perspectives. We can now begin to ask ourselves the important questions. How has this winter held you for rest? What are you needing now as the seasons change? The songs of the birds are different now. The smell of Petrichor is more apparent…


Now is the time for recommitment to regrowing the parts you wish to reclaim, and healing the parts where you let what no longer serve shed off. Now is the time to rekindle your relationships to the lands, the ancestors of these lands, and if you have never done so before, now is the time to start. 


In that getting-to-know-you time, early to mid spring, we can see how we play a role in this beautiful cycle of reciprocity. What does this environment give you? What do you offer in return? It is my ritual, as a farmer and land steward, every late winter into mid spring to evaluate, recalibrate and to observe before I interact. How will I be in service to the land? How will I honor those who stewarded this land before me? How will this serve my community and the existing relationships here, the non human; the plant, the tree, the rock, the 4 legged, winged, water dwellers and crawlers? And then, only then,  do I begin to consider my asks. 


What do I need? First by checking in with myself, feeling where I am needing support. Considering how much I need, after observing what is available after other communities get what they need to survive. The plants give so much, and we only need a little. 


Capitalism tells us to take it all, to hoard and withhold. But Nature tells us there is no need for that, when we are really paying attention. Nature allows us to choose, and tells us her boundaries. It is up to us to respect them. It is our duty. It is the agreement. This is how I do medicine making. This is how i try to move through the world. By no means perfect. It’s a practice and every day is a new chance to get it right. 


I hope that you find time this spring, to check in with yourself about what you need. How you take and how you give back. The more we do this, as a collective effort, the more in balance we will be.


To dig further into the rich soil of reciprocity, join us for our workshop with Letty Chichitonyolotli Martinez on May 30th, "Potion Crafting for Healing & Herbal Reciprocity." In this workshop, we will gather and learn to connect with our intentions into a collaborative agreement with plant medicine and energetics, particularly when embarking on your potion making journey.


letty chichitonyolotli martinez is the owner of Flying Dogheart Farm - is Coahuiltican, born in San Antonio, Raised in Chicago, a Veteran of the United States Navy, formerly a public health worker, turned herb farmer and land, food, and racial justice activist; lives in Multnomah territory and farms on Wapato Island(commonly known as Sauvie’s Island). letty works in relationship with medicinal and traditional food plants, makes holistic herbal remedies for people and their dogs and farms in collective in the Raceme (Ray-Ceem) Farm Collective with other Black and Brown Farmers. Website: www.racemefarmers.orgInstagram: @flyingdogheart

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