I once dreamed I was a tree. It was the most peaceful dream I have ever had. So much so that went I woke up I went back to sleep to continue being a tree for a while. Yesterday while sitting on my back porch enamored watching the breeze rustle a near-by oak, I thought how nice it is to be in a hammock underneath. For a few moments in time you are at peace, gently flowing with the breeze, and for a bit you can become one with the tree, if you ask nicely. Imagine what that existence must be like. You are born a seed, all of the information you need packed away in a tiny DNA package. You may be carried by a squirrel or blown by a breeze until you find a comfy home nestled into the ground. Of course none of this is conscious, you just ARE until you are more. When you do get settled, somehow as a little seed you know what to do. Your only needs are dirt, sun, and water - and not to be destroyed. Such a passive yet beautiful existence.
As a life form that needs to destroy and devour other living things to survive it gives me even more respect for my journey as a human. We are borrowing so much from the already efficient Earth just to be here. We take her land, her plants, her animals. We carve out space and claim it as our own. We dig up her innards to drive our cars, which pollute the air. We destroy the forests that cleanse the air for us. We hurt each other. Greed driven by a fear that we won't be taken care of.
Looking at the life of a plant just makes me wonder how we've gone so wrong. At what point did man start to believe they deserved more of the earth than the rest of life. When did we start fighting each other for bountiful resources and stop hearing the trees, the animals, the water and the rocks. As an American I am particularly baffled as I also have Native American Heritage. I find myself identifying with what I understand about their culture. We were taught in History class that everything was black and white, we were the heroes, they were the enemies. Taught to us again and again through lingering stereotypes of misunderstanding. Upon examining and making my own assessments as a adult, I tend to believe we really got it wrong. Watching Pocahontas as a child felt like just a fairy tale. Look at these imaginary people who think they can hear the voice of the wind, the trees, the rocks and animals. But they weren't imaginary. Pocahontas was based on a true story, one much more bizarre than the Disney tale. As it seems no one was interested in her religion or her relationship with the Earth. In reality she was captured, held for ransom, forced to change her religion and marry a settler then touted about town as an example of a "civilized savage." We weren't interested in listening or learning because we were so sure we were right.
Well I am listening to the Earth again and from what I can tell a lot of other people are also. There is so much available for everyone if we'd just learn to work together again as a community. Rob Greenfield is an activist I follow on Instagram. He goes a long way to prove the value of living off the Earth. For one year he grew and foraged ALL of his food. The thought terrified me at first but also made me see it was possible, which in our modern society seems crazy. But it really isn't. A really amazing project he turned me onto is the Falling Fruit website. They have a constantly growing map of half a million free food sources around the world. He also supports the Food is Free Project. It is a great resource for those looking to get started growing and sharing food with your community.
Plants are truly intelligent as a species. A lot of them produce things that are edible so other creatures will ingest them or carry them off to spread their seeds to create more plants! They exist by GIVING and being, and we can too. Through plants we have the power to encourage life! As humans with our handy hands and thumbs we can be the architects of new life. It just takes one seed, some dirt, and some water. Improving our relationship with plants can be fun, bountiful, and therapeutic! If you've got a small space and are looking to get started I talk about some easy things you can do in this article.