Tuesday, 18 May 2010

The secret life of plants

Every now and again I see something that inspires me to write and today is no exception.

Now I don’t know about you but all my private paper work and bank details I usually shred but a few months back my shredder busted, now I fill up a small garden incinerator and set light to it, after a day of sorting paperwork the incinerator was full so I went out to set light to it, this has been the first time for about a month as I have been really busy the garden has also taken it’s own course and is now overgrown.

But something struck me as I watched the flames take hold and burn away all that information, the patch around the incinerator has no weeds or plants growing, why?

How do they know not to grow near the burner? It’s not that it gets that hot and it’s been a month so logic tells me I should have had to fight my way to the rusty metal bin, do the plants have a way of knowing not to grow there? Is it instinct? Have they had a previous experience of the burner? Have the other plants told them what might happen?

As children we all have little fear and as we grow and experience our own shortcomings we learn not to repeat these actions, children have little fear when they climb all over the armchairs and stand on the arms saying “Look at me” but when they fall they become more weary it doing it, I remember my son when he was small he used to walk along in front of the fire and put his hand out above the metal casing and look at me, I would say “Hot” and he would move away, he didn’t really understand hot, he may of felt the warmth from the fire as he hovered his hand over the top but that may have been his experience of hot up to that point.

One day he did this and I said “Hot” he turned back and touched it, his hand recoiled and in shock ran over to me, hugging him I said “There hot” he never did it again.

It’s by experience of our own action that we learn rather than what others may tell us, we can only guess sometimes what others are trying to tell us when they talk of their own spiritual experiences, the only bench mark we have is our own.

As for the bare patch around the burner, I’d like to think that even the lowly weed has the instinct to survive and just ‘knows’ not to grow there.