To Touch a Plant

To Touch a Plant

By Briana Lyon

To Touch a Plant

I once attended an art exhibit in Vancouver. The focus was technology. Clouds made of lightbulbs. 5 screens showing the same action from different angles. Virtual Reality rooms where you danced in neon stars. It was electric. But man did it give me a headache!  So. Much. Stimulus. 

Then in a backroom, off a narrow side hallway there was a small room hung heavily with plants. Spider plants, money plants, peace lilies, simple house plants really. All suspended at head height with leaves hanging tantalizingly low towards your chest. 

The concept was simple. Touch a plant. Touch each plant. See how they feel different. Every plant puts out its own unique chemical signals. Its own unique electromagnetic wave. Its own blend of oxygen. Its own positive ions. Could you feel the difference? I could. 

I had never really appreciated just how refreshing a plant could be. After being bombarded with signals, lights and laser pulses just taking a moment to appreciate the unique energy of a plant was revelatory. And then attempting to tune into the different energy of each plant was grounding. I'm not going to say I succeeded - not quite at that level yet - but it was nice to try to feel in a different way. To become more sensitive to an organic life form.  

We are animals that depend on plants (like all animals in one way shape or form). No matter how far removed from nature we feel - by walls, by electronics, by hierarchy - the touch of a plant can bring us back to what we are. Fundamentally organic, indivisible from nature. Now take a moment, touch a plant - whether its the tiny succulent on your desk or a weed in the crack of the sidewalk - and feel.