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Interacting with Plants, Animals and People

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I sat on a butterfly-shaped bench in the indoor exhibit, soaking in the trickly sounds of water  in a little man-made pond. The air was warm and pleasantly moist, pink and orange flowers and twisty-barked green trees canopied, draped and colored the rocks and stone pathways in this little wonderland. Butterflies of every color and size flitted around, sometimes gently landing on me.

Photo by Izabelha, Sxc.hu
Photo by Izabelha, Sxc.hu

There was nothing to say or do. I just sat and absorbed the calm of the environment into my cells.

I watched a young woman examining the foliage, looking for dying flowers to clip and prune. I could see by the focused way she studied each bloom that she understands a plant’s mood. She knows the difference between a plant’s expression that signals over-watering vs. parching, withering vs. finding its legs. How could she know this about a species that can’t talk?

I have always been  a sucky gardener. I don’t get plants at all I’m in awe of people who do. To me, reading people seems much easier. In fact, I had spent the morning on the phone with my mom, talking her through a crisis that had her anxious and delusional. She is recently widowed and has dementia. She was like a new person after we talked. I felt somewhat depleted, but very useful.

Connection to any living thing feeds the soul, whether it’s other people, an animal or even a plant. We are better when some living thing responds to us and when we understand and respond to it. The understanding that reading plants and reading people serve the same purpose made me feel like if I spent enough time, and really listened, I could maybe learn the language of plants too.

If it’s getting hard to connect with people as it sometimes does, maybe this will help. Either way, don’t give up on connecting with life and all that is living. We need this, we all really do.

Copyright January, 2014, Lisa C. DeLuca. For permission to reprint, contact the author. Please do not post this online. This article is for general information only and is not intended to be mental health or personal advice. Thanks for reading!