Thinking about plants thinking and how I want to be like them:

by: Shauna Greeson

I love plants. You might say I’m a bit of a crazy plant lady. I frequently find myself in the back corner of box store nurseries looking for the plants on clearance that no one wants to buy because they’ve lost their perfect looking luster. These green gem orphans sense me coming and know that not only will they survive but one day they will become grandparents.

Plants move so slowly that their life changes go undetected if noticed at all, they are viewed and portrayed as passive entities, furniture, food or décor only (by most).  For a better understanding of the world around me and the realm of Spirit I take time to notice my plants as intelligent, highly sensitive beings that are as connected to me as they are to each other and all other forms of life. I have developed and nurtured feelings for and unique connections to certain plants throughout my life. Generations of Christmas Cacti have been passed down in my family. Some are on display in our beautiful classroom. Stop by anytime and talk plants with me over a cup of tea!

I was raised in GA in a family that sowed seeds as soon as the Farmer’s Almanac said that the last freeze had come and gone. For many generations my family’s crops were planted out of necessity to survive the coming seasons. There was always a mess of canned goods in the cellar that brought warmth and laughter to our Sunday afternoons, spent together in Calhoun. Grandmommy  Bone sowed flower seeds all year and her flowers were a loving backdrop to the front porch gatherings as we all dropped by to eat and be together. I can’t omit the memories of all the classic still shots of her in front of her prized blooms that towered over her sweet head.

Have you ever wished you had a ‘green thumb’?  I’ve been told all my life that I have one and until recently believed I had inherited some magical power/unicorn blessing concerning plant life. Silly me. After reading The Secret Life of Plants by Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird and being absolutely fascinated I started digging deeper (no pun intended) into the science of Sensory Biology in Plants. The more I learn the more I want to know. I now see that there's there’s no magic or unicorns needed, just a sincere attempt to notice the imperceptible growth, the seeming stillness and relish the relationships between the plants themselves and the relationships between my plants and me.

99% of the biomass on earth is dominated by plants. My guess is that 0.01% of our thoughts are dominated by plants and what we can learn from their 400,000 different species. Did you know that a plant’s roots will redirect their paths long before they reach an inanimate object or invasive plant blocking them from growth or nourishment? In my personal experience, seeking spiritual growth and nourishment, I find the more I practice stillness thru meditation and simply noticing the moment at hand the more I am aware of the people places and things that block me from much needed nourishment from the Sunlight of the Spirit. For humans, stillness seems to be something we must learn how to achieve and redirecting our life path seems to come long after the discovery of invasive people or avoidable obstacles in our spiritual paths. I believe we have much more to learn from our gardens and house plants than meets the eye.  A plant simply is. Beautiful beings taking only as much sunlight, water, and nourishment they need to thrive. When deprived, a lone plant will weep, wither and eventually die without having its needs met. How similar our spirits are! Without spiritual sunlight to nourish, the light of laughter and food for thought we too wither and eventually…. Well, you know… Cease to thrive.

Food for thought: