June 15, 2020
I have found myself talking to my plants. It is not because they are such great conversationalist, it is more a thought that perhaps if I give them enough encouragement they will thrive. I have read and heard several biologist and psychologists who say talking to your plants can be good for both of you. The plants seem to thrive off the emotions we put into caring for them and our words can be soothing. At the same time, airing thoughts and getting things off your chest is recommended for humans. I will give you one hint, do not yell at them. That does not seem to work.
When I was in seminary, I attended a discussion on Martin Luther King, Jr. during Black History Month. I recall 25–30 people there and I was the only Caucasian. As this was a student led discussion the content varied widely. I do not recall what was specifically being discussed, but the realization I received has stayed with me. The group had been going back and forth with everyone offering their understanding. I sat quietly and listened, until the answer to our discussion became obvious. I spoke my peace and outlined what I believed to be a well thought out solution. Everyone listened politely, and then after I had spoken, went back to the previous discussion. What I gained from this experience is conversation is not always about finding a solution, it is often more about being heard.
Even while I am being a bit tongue in cheek about talking to my plants, it may go a long way to keep them happy. My garden is facing the toughest time of the year. The rains and cool weather that set my plants on their path have given way to the warm and dry afternoons they will face for the rest of the summer. It is during these times of stress that I need to be the most compassionate. I will offer them a little more food, keep them well watered, and tell them how well they are doing. After all, it cannot hurt.
THOUGHTS: Melissa turned me on to a post this last week called Encouraging Meaningful Conversations. This is an ongoing blog by a group called Mindful. In this episode, Jenee Johnson encouraged hearers to have meaningful conversations about race and trauma. This implies “the historical trauma, the microaggressions, the white fragility that often is a barrier to conversation.” Just as I needed to realize discussion is about more than finding a solution, I know our unity will never happen without the conversation. If you venture out, stay safe.