How often have you been in a situation where you think the plant is getting enough water because that’s the amount of water Google says the plant should be getting. Or you dig your new garden in a certain location because that seems the logical place to dig. Or you go ahead and saddle your horse even though she is laying back her ears and nipping at you as you tighten the cinch.
We’ve all been in those positions or similar ones, haven’t we?
The point is, we can recognize those situations for what they are - humans coming from a perspective of entitlement and superiority - and then begin the work of moving forward. We don’t have to stay in that hierarchal paradigm.
The Story of the Hydrangea Bush
I love gardening, and when I owned my house in Minnesota I had plenty of room for many luxurious gardens.
There was an area outside of my office window where I wanted hydrangeas because ‘won’t it look pretty to look and see hydrangea bushes while I’m working?’.
So, off in my car I went, drove the couple of miles to my local nursery, bought a snowball hydrangea bush, got home, plopped it in the ground without any forethought, grace or ceremony and then treated myself to a nice cuppa iced tea afterwards.
Within days the hydrangea bush was no longer beautiful but struggling, sad and weary.
So what went wrong?
Time To Do Things Differently
Well, obviously, I should have done my research and made sure that was a good site for the bush and the ground was prepped properly.
But above and beyond that? I pulled the human card and acted out of entitlement and superiority. After all, I was the human, I knew what I wanted and I knew best how to get it……*sigh*.
I didn’t treat the bush as an equal with her/his/its own authority and agency. I didn’t consult to see if it wanted to come home with me and once I got it home I didn’t consult where or even if she/he/it wanted to be planted.
I didn’t consult with the land about what she/he/it wanted or needed, if that particular spot even wanted to support another plant.
Now, decades later, thanks to learning about right relationship and practicing animism, I am more aware of how my thoughts, speech and actions affect the beyond-human sentient beings. Because we are all equal and each one of us has our own agency, autonomy and authority, I am much more conscious of the interaction we have together, and how we affect each other. More specifically, I am aware of their wants, needs and desires and how important it is to respond to that instead of pulling the human cards of entitlement and superiority.
When we remember the relationships we have with the beyond-human sentient beings are about mutuality, cooperation, reciprocity and exchange, we are already changing our human-centric perspective and nurturing and tending the authentic, equal relationship we have with them.
We're In This Together,