Nostalgia. It's a Greek word. Literally, it means aching for home. It's homesickness. Ulysses felt nostalgia as he wandered far from his native land. It's one of the most basic feelings that we humans have. It's a longing for that place from which we have come, whether it be home, family or womb. It's not the place; it's the ache that is so poignant.
All of us have experienced homesickness--longing--the deep ache of sadness. It is not a "bad" feeling. Sadness is not bad. Longing is not bad. Our culture places a great premium on happiness. We often feel that unless we are bubbling over with joy juice that there is something wrong. Sadness can be beautiful. Witness the distant sound of bagpipes. Or a clear orange sunset on a balmy summer's day. When we allow ourselves such feelings, we can grow. We can learn. Flower and gem essences can help us.
For the past sixteen years I have been the head counselor at an arts, music, drama, dance and media camp for kids in southern New Jersey. Homesickness is more common than athlete's foot, stomachaches and coughs combined.
Think about it. In a matter of hours, a kid pulls up stakes, leaves her room, her bathroom, her father, her mother, her friends, her house, her dog, cat -- her roots. Her parents drive her to a place where she will live with seven other girls and two women in the same room with the same bathroom. For four weeks. Night and day. And food? Forget it. Maxim's of Paris and Burger King could join forces to produce the ultimate gourmet menu. Wouldn't matter. It still wasn't from Mom.
Camp has always been, for me, an experience of intense group living and growing. I was always fortunate to have a place that was caring and nurturing. So the experiences of camp were among the most lasting group experiences of my life, including four years as a resident of Rajneeshpuram, a spiritual community.
Camp is a hot house. Everything grows so much faster. Ten months of routine school, homework and bedroom and bathroom can go rather swiftly and change rather slowly. But four weeks at camp is a spiritual boot camp. Four weeks last forever and are over before they seem to have begun. So much change.
It's not surprising that kids get homesick. So do the counselors. It happens at those times when the structure is at its most ephemeral -- at night time, just before sleep. During free time. It occurs at those moments when people are most with themselves. It was for the counselors that I first created my Homesick Remedy. That was in 1987. Sixteen years later, the revised Homesick Remedy is on the camp protocol, administered by the camp nurses and, of course, authorized by the camp physician.
Children are generally more receptive than adults to vibrational remedies. They don't have the defenses that we develop over time. Usually they are more practical than adults and would rather have something that worked even if it didn't fit their mind set.
The Homesick Remedy has evolved in the past sixteen years. Each summer, the older campers bring the newer campers to the infirmary for the remedy. It consists of two gem essences and six flower essences.
There is emerald. Emerald strengthens the heart. It is green and nurturing. A strong and nurtured heart can deal with homesickness. Yellow-green peridot is warm, clear. In chakra colors, yellow is power and green is the heart. It felt right that peridot could help in clarifying as well as supporting heart strength.
Walnut and Mimulus are two of the Bach Flower Remedies used in the Homesick Remedy. Walnut helps us to make transitions and to release us from bondage to the past. Mimulus supports our courage to face the experiences of the day. Both are directly related to the experiences of the kids.
Chamomile is the soother. Always the soother. It supports emotional balance. Bleeding Heart says it all. It supports opening the heart and facing sadness. I use Stinging Nettle to relieve emotional stress and to support the separation from home. Finally, I use Thyme as an amplifier of the whole. That is the Homesick Remedy.
There are many truths. And, I am sure, there could be many Homesick Remedies, including some homeopathic ones. A daughter of one of the old homeopathic pharmaceutical families enjoyed the remedy during her stay at the camp. Her father suggested that a homeopathic application of Bryonia would also help. Others have suggested that Ignatia Amara could be applied as a homeopathic remedy for loss and grieving.
Whatever works. And it seems clear that, for the past sixteen years, the Homesick Remedy has worked for many hundreds of homesick campers.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sarvananda Bluestone, Ph.D (website) is a former college professor who, tiring of the life of the mind, took an early retirement. For the past seventeen years he has been a practicing psychic doing readings from the Catskills to Bombay. His book, How to Read Signs and Omens in Every Day Life, has been chosen as a selection of the One Spirit Book Club. His World Dream Book is scheduled to be published in December. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ART CREDITS: ArtToday.