Of Disaster & Beauty

The world serves us an all-you-can-eat buffet of reasons to feel defeated. The stories we hear and the stories we tell ourselves shape reality, and everywhere we look we can find a gruesome injustice, a hopeless-seeming problem, a well of grief. The oceans are being fished to extinction, our neighbors are being shot in the grocery store, our neighbors are flying flags of hate on their mailboxes.

It’s enough to make us crumble to our knees, to dissolve in a puddle of tears, on a regular Tuesday afternoon. If you’re someone who sometimes collapses under the grief of the world, who feels like you’re feeling it all for everybody else, I’m right there with you. Go ahead and let yourself go there, because suppressing feelings of grief also suppresses feelings of joy. And truly letting in the weight of it all, after we peel ourselves off the floor, spurs us to action.

Last year around this time the US was entering lockdown, and there was so much we didn’t know about COVID-19. The world felt really scary. Out of that time came the inspiration for my very first online course, “Plant Communication: Connecting With The Botanical World.” When life as I knew it was turned on its head, when everything felt threatening, and I couldn't eat or sleep, the plants were there for me. The plants embraced me and gave me a way to move forward. (I wrote more about that specific experience in the post “What The Juniper Told Me”).

After all we’ve been through in the last year, tragedy and uprising we couldn’t foresee last March, I’ve circled back to plant communication over and over again. This practice is so much more important than even I was giving it credit for a year ago. In the face of great loss and chaos, the significance of our relationship to the nature only grows.

Practicing plant communication enchants the world. For every buffet of disaster, there’s another buffet of beauty. When we see our other-than-human neighbors as living, breathing companions, and we open ourselves to relationship with them, we can see that we have a place here. Plants tend to welcome us with open arms, and show us the kind of unconditional love and acceptance that humans struggle for. Imagine if every time you stepped out your door, you were greeted by familiar friends who filled you with that feeling. Imagine you had access to that kind of relationship no matter where in the world you went, or what human loss you experienced. Imagine if more and more of us started waking up to that reality, started re-learning this basic human skill. What kind of healing could be possible? Perhaps we’d turn on each other much less. Perhaps we’d stand up and fight for our other-than-human kin too.

The buffet of disaster is real, and it’s serving us meals whether we ask for them or not. Whether we can survive it depends on how often we partake of the buffet of beauty, how often we’re reminded what is here that’s worth fighting for.

This course is a step-by-step guide to deepening your relationship with the plant world. During this experience the plants will be your greatest teachers, and the course is here to guide you into connection with them. Here, you'll

  • develop your intuition

  • learn to hear the messages plants are offering you

  • gain insight and clarity from your interactions with plants

  • get over feelings of silliness, and have your experiences validated

  • cultivate your relationship to the specific place you live

  • get in touch with your own belonging to this Earth, and your place in the scheme of things

  • learn skills we aren't taught in school, but that are so integral to being human on the Earth

  • lay the foundation for a lifetime of connection, healing, and belonging

Plant communication is a meditative practice. If you feel called to listen more deeply to the natural world, to look to nature to be your guiding star, or if you just love plants, this class is for you.

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