I’ve had the uncommon pleasure of seeing the frenetic but organized flow through the cells of plants by microscopy. It made the kingdom plantae “come alive” for me.
We all know plants to be alive by their macroscopic motion like growth, or withering, or, the favorite of most, flowering. But because those transformations happen so slowly, they seem to be on a timescale of a kingdom different than ours. Plant-lovers capture time-lapse videos to appeal to wider masses. And everyone is enthralled by the Venus fly trap (Google for a video). When we see it snap shut on prey, we can’t think of it as only a plant; we search for eyes around the scary jaws….
We project our kingdom onto everything…
Loving gardeners nurture life. They have a gift of patience for transformation–a vision that doesn’t need to see life’s motion on our time scale. I envy it. They can sit and adore their garden at the very state it is in, the co-creation of their toil. But, I suspect those long moments of adoration are sometimes or eventually interrupted by visions of their creation’s future. An unwelcome weed. Open ground that could use a shrub…or, god forbid, a home for a gnome:)
I sense that mystics resemble real plant lovers. By meditation they seek stillness as the background against which God moves them, on the timescale of a different kingdom. Those experiences are visions which see God’s creative work being done in our more familiar kingdom of the world. They see God in things that appear not to be moving to most of us. An ugly weed sitting still in its soil is beautiful by that vision – without a microscope, without snapping jaws – perhaps because they have a sense of their own time-lapse video in the world. They see closer linkage between the past and the future – linkage to the now. Contentment simply to be.
Sequel: (KINGDOMS 2) Dances with Leaves
Neil D. 2019-07-30
Science discovered trees talk to each other, in the language of their own kingdom, and the chatter makes the whole forest more whole, above and below ground: cac.org/reciprocity. I say trees have souls.
Related FeelWithNeil: Ode to a Sacred Twig – An exercise for the soul