Earth Etude for Elul 24: What Is Remembering?

by Steph Zabel

~ What is remembering?

As I’ve ponder this question over the past several days, the following thoughts have come to me…

Remembering is a return to wholeness and truth: a wholeness of self, of spirit, of place in the world. When we remember who we are, why we are here, and how we relate to the world around us, these remembrances — these truths — infuse our lives with richness and radiate outwards to all the lives around us.

I think that remembering must also paradoxically involve forgetting… For instance:

When we remember that all human beings, of all backgrounds and beliefs, deserve love, dignity and compassion, we forget why we would ever close our hearts to another, especially others in need.

When we remember that we are dependent upon all the resources given to us by the earth for our survival, we forget that we could ever do harm to the natural world.

When we remember that we are Beloved, we forget any sense of loneliness, unworthiness or fear.

How can we remember?

Our own personal remembrances must be felt and embodied for them to become true for us as an individual.

For me, remembering comes by being in nature. Remembering comes by being surrounded by beauty. It comes when I express my heart and when I open my heart to another’s expressions. Remembering comes in moments of stillness.

And with remembering comes the forgetting, where we can forget our old selves, old patterns and old beliefs that simply fall away. Remembering is a balm to the spirit that helps us find the way to our true selves, and our place of wholeness within the world.

I remember so that I can forget that which is untrue… and I forget so that I can remember that which is true.

Steph Zabel is an herbalist and botanical educator. Through her work she offers practical herbal classes and holistic wellness sessions. As the founder of Herbstalk, a community based herbal event, she helps create accessible educational opportunities for all plant enthusiasts in the Boston area, at



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