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Are plants aware? Perhaps. Read an experience that really happened and draw your own conclusion.
[1,162 words]
Frank L Martin
The autor is a retired social worker and has been writing for the last fifteen years. Most of his published work has been in newspapers and newsletters about mental health and social work. The author likes to write science fiction and fantasy.
[November 2001]
The Infinity Wars (Short Stories) A young man is visited by a talking snake and wolf. The animals mistake him for another duplicate from another reality level. The wolf takes him to the animal's level where they fight an evil darknes... [2,824 words] [Fantasy]
Frank L Martin

I remember the first time I consciously communicated with a tree. Now I had heard that many people talk to plants and I thought... well, you know, there's a strange and unusual person in every crowd. However, I had this experience once that shook my skepticism. It was the first time I ever came across what I guess is a mutual communication with a plant.

It was a gorgeous week in October when my wife and I went camping in the mountains. The Methow Valley was ablaze with fall colors and the weather was unseasonably warm; a great time for a camping trip as there were few other people in the woods. On the third day out, the weather turned and a cold wind blew in from the north. The temperature dropped several degrees below comfortable and we built a large campfire that evening to warm us while we ate a late supper. Afterwards we wrapped ourselves in blankets and sat around the fire until bedtime.

Unfortunately, I had made the mistake of drinking a couple of beers before we turned in and at about two o'clock in the morning my bladder began protesting so strongly that I woke up. The early morning was bitter cold and I sure didn't want to leave the cozy sleeping bag, but my bladder was insistent. I reluctantly crawled out of the bag, grabbed a flashlight and opened the tent flap. Ice crystals drifted in the light’s beam and the grass surrounding the tent was frozen frosty white. I put on my pants and slipped my bare feet into shoes, which were about as warm as the grass. I left the tent, heading for the distant outhouse, shoes crunching on the frozen vegetation. Shivering in the bitter cold, I decided to skip the malodorous outhouse and stopped by one of the fir trees that bordered the campground. Still half asleep, I put my hand on the trunk for support as I relieved my bladder.

So there I was, groggy from sleep, half-dressed in the frozen outdoors, relieving myself at the base of a tree and, incidentally, partially on my shoe. It wasn't exactly one of those times when one expects enlightenment to strike; chilblains or a frostbitten member probably, but not what actually happened.

The tree was sentient. I felt its energy surging around the trunk and what's more, I sensed it was aware of my touch. For a brief moment we shared something, a mutual recognition that we were part of the same force that makes up the universe. I don't know how long I stood there exposed to the elements and fondling the rough bark of the tree like some perverted prevert. It wasn't too long though, I didn't get frostbite.

That was my first clear... I don't know what to call it, shared awareness maybe, with another life form. I do know that the consciousness of the tree was quite different from humans, but it was clearly a consciousness and we communicated on a level that I find difficult to describe here. After that experience, I found myself trying to feel that same kind of connectedness with other plants, but was only marginally successful until a couple of days later, my wife and I were in the northeast part of the state, near the Idaho border. It was late in the afternoon and we were looking for a place to set up camp when we came around a bend and spotted a clearing just off the forest service road. We turned into it to see if it was suitable for camping.

The first thing I felt when I stepped out of the truck was a sense of wariness from the surrounding plant life. It was almost as if the vegetation was groaning and saying, "Look out, here come those destructive humans again."

The clearing was surrounded on three sides by large trees and off to one side was the remains of some wooden structures. The place had obviously been a staging area for logging. Hidden in the bushes were rusted choker cables and other paraphernalia of the logging industry. Across the road was the wreckage of a clear-cut logging operation. One large tree almost seemed to cringe as I approached and I saw why. Some syphilitic idiot had built a fire-pit right next to the tree trunk, which had burned through several large roots and charred the over-hanging branches. Someone had taken an ax to various parts of the trunk. Most of the other trees bordering the clearing had similar ax cuts. Some had great ragged gouges cut in them. Poking up through the tall grass were the remains of young trees that had been hacked down and left to rot. Cans, bottles and other trash littered the ground.

Since it was getting late and there didn't seem to be many choices left, we decided to camp and set about cleaning up the place. I dug up the fire pit and filled in with humus from deeper in the forest. I also pruned several dead and partially burned branches from the tree. The last thing I did was to give the tree a blessing. We then collected the trash and buried it next to the roadway. After we set up camp and build a fireplace (away from the trees), we meditated and gave the surrounding forest a blessing as well. I sensed the wariness waning and bewilderment setting in. It was almost as if the forest was saying, "What's happening? What are these humans up to now?" Gradually, the energy changed from wariness to relief and then acceptance. The change in the energy was astounding. That night, as we lay in our sleeping bags, I felt some sense of connectedness again and as we drifted off to sleep, I had the feeling friends surrounded us.

It felt so good to be in that place, that we decided to stay over an additional day and bask in the energy. I'm afraid I came to be a bit of a fanatic about not injuring the plants though, but it was impossible not to do so. I found myself gingerly stepping on the grass and halfway apologizing for the destruction. Finally I came to my senses and realized that the destruction of plant life goes on whether we are present or not. It is, after all, the nature of nature. However, we still carried the respect/love for the life force in the plants and somehow, in an inexplicable way, that made a difference.

More and more I am becoming conscious of the life energy of plants. I now silently ask the trees to heal me as I rest in their shade. I thank the grass for being there to cushion my footfall and when I take plants for my own pleasure, I bless them for their giving, for I am realizing that we humans are not alone in this universe.

Everything we do reflects this total creation, however small our actions may seem.



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© 1999 Frank L Martin
January 2002

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