Plants are always communicating with us - on an obvious level it's plants participating in the unending carbon-oxygen exchange with us that can be called communication - on on a scientific level it's through chemicals they release to communicate to pollinators, other plants, us. But on a spiritual level when plants communicate with us it's we who often can't hear them, we who live our lives in a fast pace with minds filled with our daily lists and tasks and little time for slowing down and sitting with plants to learn their messages. We had a fascinating workshop here on the weekend on this topic, and our facilitator (local herbalist, reflexologist and plant spirit healer Heather Cain) guided us into a time of learning how we can better learn to attune our senses to hear (and see, smell, taste, feel, etc) the messages that plants are giving to us. I am often drawn to the practical ways of being with plants - growing, tending, harvesting, preparing, using them - and forget to slow down and be with them on a different level, that of knowing them deeply, listening, responding. Taking time in the workshop to really sit with a plant that was calling me - that day it was Motherwort, the "mother's helper" - and hearing what Motherwort had to tell me, was refreshing and new.
Participants each spent time with plants around the gardens here at Little City Farm - and the plants that chose them were not necessarily ones I usually notice: motherwort, lamb's quarter, borage, dandelion, queen anne's lace, lemon balm, strawberry flower, zinnia, and our old apple tree, to name a few. We heard messages of abundance and sharing, opening our hearts, letting go of old patterns, remembering that we are all connected in community, releasing our fears, and paring down our busy lives to what is really important.
We each collected a few petals or flowers from the plants we spent time with, and made a room cleansing elixir by adding the flowers to purified water, with a dash of alcohol preservative and pure essential oils. What a lovely way to spend the morning in my very familiar garden, with new eyes and an open heart, and so much more to learn on this subject.
For another fascinating look at plant communication, check out this short video by a forest researcher describing how Mother Trees are communicating in the forest through their fungal networks.