While all of plantdom are my relations, there are grasses and trees to which I feel an especially strong kinship: Food plants, like barley and oats, whose fields have surounded me all my life here in this northern bread bakset. Also trees, the apple and hazelnut, blueberry and blackberry from the days of stained fingers and lips and full tummies from picking berries with Grandma. Every food I’ve ever consumed began with plants, thus my DNA is filled with the codes and gifts of my plantcestors. I’ve long struggled with disdain and dislike for many of my human ancestors. I feel no such embarrassment or loathing of my plantcestors, and it’s exciting to imagine that I can embrace this kinship and, by so doing, possibly increase or deepen my plant communication.
The trees that nurtured me in childhood, through hard adolescence and the wild years of my twenties, left marks and impressions, gave healing and unconditional acceptance, as profound as any therapist, teacher or parent. More perhaps, for I found it easier to hear and respect them. Do plants, my plantcestors, have “feet of clay”? Are they imperfect and sometimes unholy in the ways of human beings? Do they lead us astray or use us for their own purposes? I do not believe so. But, perhaps if Kin’s purpose is always evolution, there are parallels. This is a winding and deep path that wants more exploration and analysis. But, mostly, it is comforting to look out my window or walk in my neighborhood and know myself surrounded by all my relations.