Guru on the Mountain
It’s mid-afternoon and I’ve just had an acupuncture treatment for my knees. Initially, I planned to drive the short distance from my parent’s house to Joe’s to get my herbs—since resting is always good after a treatment. But the air is cool and the dog is absolutely convincing, so I set out on foot. Slowly, this time, very, very slowly, I begin the walk to Joe’s.
There’s always life up at Joe’s Mountain Gardens, even when nobody’s on the mountain. Acres of steep-sloped gardens with more plant varieties I can count or name glisten in the sunlight that fights its way through grey clouds. We’ve had rain off and on all day, so the plants appear heavy, laden with raindrops yet glowing greener and healthier because of it.
I climb, climb, carefully marking each step by sight before placing my foot. The dog has climbed up and back three times already but finally, I make it to the Herb Shop and find my prescription. Nobody’s around but my name is marked clearly on a brown paper bag, along with a few others, against the back wall of the shop. Inside are three tinctures Joe’s made just for my knees: Ox Kneet Root (a blood mover), Bone Break (for bones, tendons, and cartilage), and Joint Remedy (especially extracted for the knees).
The cost is $32 and the tinctures will last me anywhere between three and six weeks, depending on how much I choose to take. I leave him a check and head back down the hill, simple as that. Hours later, when I finally get back to my own house, I’ll call Joe and ask him how much to take and when.
“You can mix it as you wish, he says, but I’d say one to two droppers-full one to three times per day. Most people settle for a dose in the morning and a dose in the evening, and you can mix the Ox Knee Root in as needed. That’s the zinger. That’s the one that’s really going to zoom in on the problem area for you.”
I thank him profusely and tell him I’ll try to stop by next time I’m at my parent’s house again.
“Good,” he says. “You’ll want to come back in a few weeks anyway. I’ve got this Bone Knitting Powder I’ve started for you. It takes a while to make and I need a few more ingredients [from China] but it will be ready next time you’re here.”
Bone Knitting Powder. I know about this stuff. It’s the miracle worker and no, I don’t fall for medicinal hoaxes. Tom Bisio writes of this in his reference book, A Tooth From the Tiger’s Mouth. It’s the real deal. And Joe is making it for me. Up on the mountain. Out of herbs he’s grown and herbs from China.
Call it preference. Call it dogma. Call it what feels right. But seriously, this feels so much more reassuring than those needles and subsequent injections I had nine days ago—nine days and the joints are still puffy, still odd looking, the pain still there (heightened at times), and I’m still on exercise lock down. I want to take the best of what both the Western and Eastern medical worlds have to offer me, I really, really do. But so far, one is causing a lot of pain and costing boo-koo bucks, while the other is local, organic, and provides immediate relief.
There is only one answer: One day at a time. Nine days ago, I needed injections. Today, I kneed Ox Knee Root. Tomorrow, who knows.