In 2020 I had a blog about two sunflower seeds that grew to over shadow a 6′ lamp post; what you see in this 2021 picture, is the offspring of those two seeds and a hidden lamp post! At last count there were about 40 sunflowers growing in this patch; many now as tall as the lamp post. And, I did nothing to encourage this growth…just watched it happen.
Why a blog on this? Recently I read a book by Suzanne Simard titled Finding the Mother Tree. This book told of the underground network of roots, fungi and mycorrhizal. This network provides the nurturing and communication link among plants. And its fascinating to finally understand how plants, which are not mobile can inform, react, even during this time of climate change with fires, droughts and international pests.
Although I did nothing to encourage this crop of sunflowers, between the birds and the “mother plants,” a fertile bed had been made.
In her book, Ms. Simard speaks to the need for transformative thinking – ” it is a philosophy of treating the world’s creatures, its gifts, as of equal importance to us. This begins by recognizing that trees and plants have agency. They perceive, relate and communicate; they exercise various behaviors. They cooperate, make decisions, learn and remember – qualities we normally ascribe to sentience, wisdom and intelligence.” And she goes on to say ” We can continue pushing our earth out of balance with green house gases accelerating each year , or regain balance by acknowledging that if we harm one species, one forest, one lake, this ripples through the entire complex web. Mistreatment of one species is mistreatment of all.” page 294
Sounds to me that on several levels we need to adopt this transformative thinking – with the environment, with our planet and with each other.
What will next year bring…I know that I am not going to interrupt the sunflower garden…and I am going to employ a new guiding principle ” if we harm one species, one forest, one lake” we mistreat all.