Goumi - Elaeagnus multiflora

Goumi - Elaeagnus multiflora

The Voice of God

What if everything was, in some mysterious way that we don't yet understand, simply, the voice of God? Regardless of whether or not this is true, what if we were to truly believe this, and live this idea out in every moment? What would life be like, how would we treat everthing around us?

Fundamentally, we are pretty mysterious. Even to just sit for some time and ponder your hand can be an absolute exercise in tripping. It doesn’t even seem like we should exist. Life appears to be an enormous and obvious miracle that is so easily overlooked, and yet, it looks back at us every single day. We are held together by forces that defy reason and understanding. Perhaps it will be understood in some future science, but it will still be magic and wonder regardless of the moving now in which it is noticed.

"Religions are like languages; all languages are of human origin; each language reflects and shapes the civilization that speaks it; there are things you can say in one language that you cannot say or say as well in another; and the more languages you speak, the more nuanced your understanding of life becomes."

We are an extraordinary anomaly. And who is this ‘we’ that I speak of? Our bodies are only bodies because of the cooperation of billions of ‘separated’ microscopic entities, encoded with completely different DNA than human DNA. And these entities rely on other 'outside' entities for their being. So ‘we’ does not stop at the human species, it extends to everything around us. Everything relies on everything, whether we go out or whether we go in. Stomachs don’t mean anything without plants, plants don’t mean anything without soil, soil doesn’t mean anything without bacteria… Lungs don’t mean anything without air, air doesn’t mean anything without trees, trees don’t mean anything without sun. These examples fan out infinitely, into every conceivable direction. Connections are community.

"It is hard to love the unseen, which is why we were given the other."

So what if, when we see the ‘other’, whether it be a stranger, a bird, a plant, a rock or a river, what if, what we are really seeing is movement and vibration, which is literally music. Music made manifest, music dancing as physical form. What if this music is simply the voice of God singing, expressing, experiencing, becoming. What if we could hear and see this voice clearly in everything? Everything would become absolutely sacred. Love thy neighbor as thyself would take on a whole new meaning. What you do to another you do to yourself. Love would expand, as the idea of self would expand to encompass everything. More for me would mean less for others. Less for others would mean a lesser me.

"I realize now that I had succumbed to the old polarity of my species: the sacred hereafter and the profane here, heaven and earth, light and dark."

Odd as it may seem, as I sit here and ponder the undulating leaves of silver and green, as I admire the plump speckled fruit, and as I taste this extraordinary anomaly called Goumi, there is a deep intuitive knowing that says, this is movement and vibration at its finest. And even though I am only hearing some notes and faint melodies, this music is becoming more than an idea, more than a rational argument, more than proof and probability, it is simply becoming.

"We thought of life by analogy with a journey, a pilgrimage, which had a serious purpose at the end, and the thing was to get to that end, success or whatever it is, maybe heaven after you’re dead. But we missed the point the whole way along. It was a musical thing and you were supposed to sing or to dance while the music was being played."


Goumi is a relative of the Autumn Olive, and shares many of the same properties. Regardless of the winter, every spring, like clockwork, these bushes are filled with the most amazing red speckled berries. The taste is absolutely amazing. The seeds are also edible but are very fibrous. There is something mysterious in the bark of this plant. There have been rumblings online with the Autumn Olive that it contains some interesting compounds, and I believe the same to be true of the Goumi bush.

Another aspect of the Goumi bush is that it is a nitrogen fixer and other plants seem to thrive when in its presence.


The best way to eat Goumi is right off the bush. The second best way to eat it is to dehydrate it.

Goumi Leather

To make Goumi Leather, gather a large bowl of Goumi berries. When picking, try to avoid picking the stem. Run the berries through a blender on low speed. This will separate the flesh from the seeds. Run this pulp through a strainer with openings a little smaller than the seeds. Spread a thin layer on a drying sheet and place in a dehydrator.

The Serviceberry is also ready to be picked at the same time as Goumi, and with its high concentration of pectin, it pairs great with the Goumi. Just blend the Serviceberries and add them to the Goumi pulp.