HARM OR HEAL… now there’s a question?
Living with an 11-month Maine Coon kitten, Walter, who experiences his world by chasing and tasting everything in his path, makes you very aware of what’s an accident just waiting to happen!
Yesterday, relaxing with my book, with Walter bouncing around the meadow lawn ‘insect bothering’, I noticed a little plant growing in a patio tub that raised big alarm bells!
It looked like the legend-fuelled Atropa belladonna, more commonly known as ‘belladonna’ or ‘deadly nightshade’…
The plant of choice for poisons… for deadly arrow tips… and for often fatal love potions. The plant Renaissance ladies (unfortunately) used in eye drops to dilate their pupils seductively. The plant used to treat everything from gout to insomnia. The plant known for its extremely toxic leaves and berries.
A quick internet search, all but confirmed my suspicion. It had to go. So, within minutes it was uprooted, bagged and binned.
With the threat removed, I then did my research and discovered that deadly nightshade is often confused with a less harmful plant and that it’s tricky to tell the difference.
There seems to be a life lesson in this little episode. I’m still not sure if the plant I killed yesterday was belladonna, or its less harmful doppelganger… but there’s the point… sometimes things that look harmful to us, can actually bring healing. Sometimes the tough stuff has a hidden gift.
I hate killing anything, but given the kitten factor, I don’t regret my decision to play it safe… but as for reflecting on life lessons… playing it safe so often isn’t the best choice!
My favourite belladonna legend has to be that witches prepare a special belladonna and poppy ointment to lubricate their brooms and make them fly! What a shame I didn’t save some for later.