"for the first time i am dreaming with a plant. english plantain is growing here, & I see a young woman with enormous wings sprouting from her shoulders. somehow i know she is the plantain spirit. i approach her & introduce myself. she asks why i have come.
"first of all," i reply, "i want to thank you for the help you have given my friends & me over the years. your leaves have healed many wounds. i come to visit you for another kind of help, a deeper kind. the cuts & scrapes of my people are nothing compared to the pain in our hearts & the pollution in our minds. can you help relieve this kind of suffering too?"
the plaintain woman hops off her leaf & flies close to me. for a moment she hovers in front of my face & looks intently into my eyes. then she smiles & says, "of course, i will help you. my brothers & sisters will help you also. we are very happy to do this. in fact we have been waiting for two hundred years for someone to ask us for this kind of help. we can do nothing unless we are asked"
"we can do nothing unless we are asked" leave it to a plant to come up with the understatement of the millenium! look at what plants do when they are asked: all human civilization is a form of excess grain ~ the generosity of plants. the history of our species shows us that plants furnish us with whatever we ask for.
our society values comfort, so that is what we have gone to the plant world to get. this is wonderful as far as it goes, which is not very far in the direction of satisfaction. if for a momentwe could forget the quest for comfort & ask the plants to help us find joy, richness & significance in life, is there any reason to suppose they would not share those qualities with us, just as they have shared everything else? to think that plants are mere dumb creatures that do not know ecstasy is ignorance or tragic arrogant folly.
all things enjoy ecstatic union with nature. life without ecstasy is not true life & not worth living. without ecstasy the soul becomes shriveled & perverted, the mind becomes corrupt & the body suffers pain. ecstatic union with nature is necessary for normal health. it is necessary for survival."
~ eliot cowan 'plant spirit medicine"