I spend a lot of time outside. Particularly in my garden around plants and trees. Although I have no formal training I had landscaping jobs as a teen and into my twenty’s; in college my work study job was in the university greenhouse, growing plants for science experiments and observations. I’ve always enjoyed herbs and find the cycle of life very rewarding…even the year when I lost 4 mature coconut trees to a nasty beetle. I was emotional about that for months. Toucans and parrots of all sorts frequent the tallest of trees on my property and wake me most mornings. Once my land was a barren dirt hill that used to be cow pasture, now I am surrounded by five fruit trees, lipstick palms, and plants and flowers of all kinds. Wildlife spottings occur almost daily and I never knew I would become a bird watcher, professional sunrise/sunset observer, and can identify our slight change of seasons with the best of them.
When I physically work my mind is working too…lately how people represent plants to me. The most coveted being the amazing rose, which symbolizes my wife of course. Although thorny at times it is one of our most lovely and wonderfully complex plants that represents love more than any other. Intoxicating and alluring everyone loves a beautiful rose. I have a giant cactus (that I must admit I macheted and stole) from a tall and amazing natural fence line up in Guanacaste. I was in my 20’s and it was 2001, nothing but a surf trip and party week with three friends. We stopped to relieve ourselves and were astounded by the beauty in front of us. A pair of gloves and a machete slice later we tenderly tied the cut cacti next to our surfboards on the roof, now I have a 9 ft. replication right next to my deck. To me it reminds me of my strong and enduring high school friends which I make a point to see every year. They will be with me until my final day. Some plants come and go, very common in this town. They often shine quite bright and may or may not leave lasting energy behind them. My least favorite garden life are vines. Certain times of the year they are aggressive, dominating, and formidable. They rapidly cover and smother almost anything they choose. I despise these types of plants as they change and sneak into beautiful areas and try to dominate and control. Luckily I spot and remove them early and try to spend as little time as possible around them.
I could go on and on for paragraphs about the traits of people vs. plants. Almost everyone I know reminds me of something in my garden. I wonder what type of plant you the reader is? Do you need daily watering and touch to thrive? Are you a shady plant or do you prefer bright sun? Some plants only exist in certain temperatures and others thrive almost anywhere. Are you one who lets others grow and change around you or do you dominate your environment, preferring repetition and how things always have been. I know a lot of thought could be put into comparing ourselves to the growing things around us. I am quite certain a lot of good could be created by consciously taking a step back and trying to see things that we could start to change within ourselves. In that way we could become part of an entire garden instead of just our planters. Compassionate living may be the most important part of living, that is why we are not plants.
(Todd Pequeen can be reached at 8830-7727 or via e-mail at [email protected]. He works independently at his tree top studio or at your location. His free time is spent reading, writing, surfing, traveling, and spreading the love.)