We Used to be Strangers but Now We’re Friends

We used to be strangers, but now we’re friends.  The plants and I.  I didn’t know who they were, where they lived, what they did.  Now we are becoming familiar. When you know someone’s name an attachment forms.  A connection.  It’s no longer…hey kid in the blue shirt, it becomes  ‘hi Kris, what’s new?’  People become memorable, no longer forgettable.  Same with plants.  They slowly become significant as we learn their names.  It starts with the general name.  Tree.  We learn what a tree is in our first few years of life.  But we are still strangers.  Different and unknown.  Then we learn a common name and we are just beginning our acquaintance.  Western Red Cedar, nice to meet you.  I might be able to pick you out of a crowd.  Maybe we’ll meet again.  Then we decide that this relationship needs to go to the next level and we dive in with genus and species.  Thuja plicata.  We are intimate.  We are fast friends.  I learn all about this Cedar, it’s height, width, zone, Native American relationships, cone structure, predators, wildlife habitat, color, shape, xylem and phloem.  Inside stuff.  Meaningful and lasting.  Now we are friends.

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