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Because of its attractive appearance

Some pairings in life are remarkable and not to be misunderstood. I’m sure the many different uses and benefits of beautiful Borage would have eventually drawn the attention of my ever curious mind anyway, but if my memory serves me well our bond goes way beyond. It was this plant that taught me, as a little boy, the wonder of seeds sprouting, a task usually reserved for beans or peas because of their size and a child’s general lack of attention to details: things are simply easier to observe when big.

If you’d asked my mum (Oh, if only you could, she passed away many years ago) she would probably first and foremost commemorate her hardship of getting rid of the many seedlings in our garden, following my first attempts of mastering the skills of growing my own plants. Then and there I should have learned that borage stubbornly spreads and easily takes over entire gardens, if left to its own devices. But since I am equally stubborn, I sowed a lot of extra borage this year at Les Pierres, even though it already established itself from previous years, just not in the spots I have easy enough access to.

It wasn’t until I was in my late twenties that I accidentally became aware of a fascinating explanation for my instinctive need of always having borage close at hand, other than because of its attractive appearance. A sudden attack of kidney stones triggered a series of examinations which in turn showed that since birth only one of my kidneys developed until fully grown. Much later that diagnosis was extended to my adrenal glands causing hormonal insufficiencies that played tricks on me for the longest time.

Those tiny little organs, being like the energy center of the body, form the key to the whole ‘fight or flight’ mechanism, responsible for keeping someone safe. Traditionally, lo and behold, borage was used to support just that body process. Think of Roman soldiers, brewing an infusion of wine and borage before going to war, singing ‘I, borage, bring courage’.

Trust nature to not just put a problem, but also its solution in my path. It’s all a bit tenuous, I know, but then again so am I. Me and borage: what goes together, grows together.

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