Growing with Plants

When I was young, I would spend a lot of time “face to face” with many flowers inhaling their seductive fragrances and beauty.  This would always make me smile, well almost always.  I didn’t like the fragrance of roses.  My Grandpa died when I was six years old.  I come from a huge family and staying at wakes for hours was the norm.   I remember walking around the funeral parlor where my Grandpa was laid out. There were flowers everywhere and at the age of six, my nose was right up to them and their fragrance.   Most of them were roses.   For years, I didn’t like the smell of roses as they always reminded me of this sad occasion.  I guess that’s what they call olfactory memory. I have since trained myself to appreciate roses for their immense beauty and gifts they bring us, but on a rare occasion, I will still get a sad memory when I smell a rose.

Three doors down from where I lived as a child, was the home of our neighbor Sam.   Sam had a huge grouping of phlox flowers on the edge of his yard.  There were so many flowers planted tightly together that they looked like a bush.  I couldn’t ever walk by those phlox without inhaling their lovely fragrance.  They quickly became my favorite fragrance and to this day, they still are.

Every time we went to Grandma’s on Sundays in the summer, she would always bring us out to her back yard to look at her garden.  She had hundreds of zinnias and a few other flowers, but almost the entire garden all the way around her yard was zinnias.   As soon as I stepped out her back door, I was uplifted and happy just seeing them.  It was like seeing old friends.  Grandma told me that when the birds sing, they make the plants happy and they grow better. I have never doubted this.

When I was eighteen years old, my oldest sister gave me a Grape Ivy plant for my birthday present. It was my first plant and my best gift. Little did I know then, it would start my love affair with indoor plants.  By the age of twenty-five, I had nearly eighty indoor plants.  I guess you could say, they were like family.  I loved each one of them.  I learned their Latin and common names.  I learned what type of watering they needed and if they like the sun or shade.  As the years went by, I became more intuitive with them and the Latin names disappeared from my consciousness.

Once I came home from work to find the heat had gone out in my apartment.  It was a below zero day and it got so cold in my apartment that by the time the heat came back on, several of my plants froze.  This was rather a shock for me at the time, but I gradually began to grow my plant family again.   Over the years during various moves, I gave many of my plants away, however, my love for plants has only increased through the years.  I still have about thirty or more plants today and quite a few of them are decades old.

At some point over the years, I started talking to my plants.  I didn’t even realize how much I was doing this until someone pointed it out to me.  I would wish them a good morning or if they fainted before I watered them I would apologize to them for missing their regular watering. I just conversed with them as if they understood. At some point, I began to know as I walked into my house if a plant was thirsty.  How did I know that?  Did it talk to me?  Did it send me a telepathic message?  I believe so. They had other ways of communicating with me too.   My sister who gave me the ivy so many years ago lives in another state.  Twice over the years she became critically ill and was in the hospital.  The ivy plant she gave me also got sick and almost died during both of her illnesses.  My plant actually got sick before I knew my sister was ill that first time.  The second time the ivy got sick, I called her up and sure enough, she was quite ill.  That ivy she gave me was a rooting off a mother ivy plant she had at her home.  She still has that “mother” plant with her.  Possibly, the two plants communicated?    I believe that they are always connected, even though they are a thousand miles apart.

My First Blog Post

About a month or so ago, I decided to start a blog.  I have yet to write in it. It feels like a jump into the void and I question whether I can walk the path of what a blog would demand, whatever that may be.    It’s a void to me.  At this moment in time, I recognize I need to be vulnerable while at the same time be in the moment, grounded in who I am.  Fully present with myself.   Throughout my life, friends have used words to describe me as earthy, grounded, rooted. Yet, I have had periods of stress and upheaval, shock and trauma, grief and loss, like most people.  I didn’t feel grounded during many of these situations. (The worst of which almost “did me in.”)  At some point along these journeys, an inner voice would guide me to seeing the worst in a different light. I had to first get intimate with the “stress”.  I had to go into a relationship with it and the emotions she provoked.  With illness, I had to see it as an ally to teach me, I had to partner with it.  Then we were on the same side. With loss, I have found “being with it in silence while recalling the oneness of what was” teaches me, expands my heart and helps me not to drown in sorrow.   Looking back at different jobs I have had, my most “rooted energy, came from those experiences that brought me into deeper relationship with people and the earth.  My most stressed, ungrounded experiences were those that demanded a lot from me with little relationship. That would send me right to my head and cut off my heart.  The one thing that would help me in these times, has always been nature.   The more I would go to her, the more peace and balance I would gain.  She would become my partner without my full consciousness of what she was actually doing for me.

I am dedicating my time to learn more and to share more of my experience of the oneness of nature.  Mother Earth is beyond words in what she brings to us all and I may fumble as I strive for words to explain my relationship with her.  I often feel like a child just learning about the world, because, her depth, her mystery, her compassion is endless.  I seek to go below the surface of what I see, what I walk upon, what I take from Mother Earth.  I feel a deep love and respect for her, but in my heart, I have an ache.  I have a feeling of amnesia.  Something in me knows and remembers her magnificence, but dogma, indoctrination and the illusion of separation has left deep some scars that limit my experience of wholeness.   I want to heal this forgetfulness.  I want to dissolve the scars and breathe her in deeply.

As I have made this commitment, I know she is helping me.  All I need is within her. She offers me peace, she gives me her medicine, her support, her guidance.  She talks to me in silent nudges, a warm breeze, a strong wind, a foggy day, a violent storm, a perfectly still day.  I hear her with my intuition, within a flash of awareness, within a dream or vision. Sometimes she sends a winged one or a four legged to send me a message or an affirmation.  Nature is wholeness, nature can heal in so many blessed ways.  I just need to ground myself to wholly receive these blessings.  “Grounding Tree” will be my testimony of my journey.

My name is Trescia.  It is pronounced, “Tree see ya,” but this is an unusual name to pronounce for most people and along the way, it was shortened to “Tree.”   I did not choose this nickname, it came to me and I have loved having a name that reminds me of some of my favorite beings in nature.

Throughout my life, I have always felt at home outside.  When I was a child, if I was upset or scarred, I would run a block or so away to a tree, climb it and tell my problems to that tree.  I didn’t consciously think the tree was listening and would answer me, but something in me felt safe and nurtured by that tree.

When I look back on it now, I recall that tree was next to a swamp and many people would back their car up to that swamp and dump their old tires, and household items that they didn’t know what to do with.  The swamp was surrounded by trees. As an adult, I believe those trees comforted the swamp and all organisms living within it.  Those that dumped on it, must have been in a deep state of forgetfulness to have done that to her.