Karen Wentlandt
I currently live in Colorado with my husband. Our three boys are grown and finding their way in this world, just as we continue to find ours.
I always believed my calling was to be writer. I pursued that calling as an undergraduate and graduate student. I wrote short stories. I worked on several books, both fiction and non-fiction. I wrote grants for a living, and freelanced articles for magazines. I went to writers’ conferences. I edited professionally. I blogged. In every situation, every day, I was “writing” the stories of my life and the lives around me in my head. Creating word pictures was like breathing. I never believed I would do anything different.
And then my son got sick. It was clear very early on that Western medicine was not only not the solution, but also that it was contributing to the problem.
During that time, I met a folk herbalist name Katie Saunders practicing on the Colorado plains. I studied with her for a year before she declared me a “Master Herbalist,” and set me free to practice herbalism. It was exciting, except that I still couldn’t help my son. I also had many questions she just couldn’t answer. I knew I needed to learn more. My final assignment for her was to find a book on herbs, written before 1980, and write a report on it. The book I chose was “The Way of Herbs,” and on the day I completed my studies with Katie, I sent away for my East West coursework.
Since that day five years ago, I have moved four times, been to Seminar three, had an ischemic stroke, and learned to speak and think all over again. I have also learned to help my son, and perhaps more importantly, learned who to go to for help. We are both healing and thriving with the help of good herbalists, and my great desire is to finish this course and go on to be a good and helpful herbalist. Ultimately, I will combine my two passions and write about herbalism. Until then, I am thankful for the East West school, for the encouragement I’ve been given, and for everything I have learned, from instructors and students alike.

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