I put dried Elder flower in my tea at the first sign of a cold. My empirical culture asks, “Does it do anything?” The water swells the flowers. I taste something when I drink the tea. (To me it tastes like cocoa.) The concoction warms me, but does it “do anything?”
Maybe the question is actually, “Does it do what I want it to do? Does it make the cold go away? Does it cure me?”
Then I realize that I do not know what the purpose of the cold is in the first place. Nor do I know what the purpose of the Elder is.
Drinking the tea is a response to the cold. Perhaps the cold is a response, as well; teaching me to create antibodies.
I wonder if my expectations about the Elder keep me from noticing what it actually does.