Meet Anthie, My New Plantie

I heard a knock on our door last week and opened it to find our upstairs neighbor holding out a Spirit Anthurium. She was giving us a gift for no other reason than to be wonderful. God bless her. I looked down at Anthie and said, “Hello Anthie!” She was positively bursting with joy.


I never had an anthurium before. I looked it up and they represent new beginnings and celebration. How perfect for us with Jack getting better (“Celebrate, celebrate, dance to the music”) and the beginning of our new life here in AZ.

We couldn’t bring any of our plants from Chicago. They would’ve died in the mover’s truck. It was hard for us to let them go, but we found them good homes. I’d done their portraits in colored pencil before we left and immediately hung them in our new place.


I read my first book by a shaman about eight years ago. He said plants (along with trees and stones and everything in nature) have spirits. Not only that, but he said the spirits of plants want to help us if only we’d ask. I’d never heard of this worldview, but it resonated.

Not long after, I was up in the wee hours buzzing with hypervigilance, buckling under from a bad tummy and buried-trauma-energy manifesting in pain every which way. I wandered from window to window in the dark of our high-rise apartment and finally stood in the kitchen where we had several plants on a ledge. I’d bought one of them at a grocery store a couple months before and it was not doing well. I repotted her, gave her fresh soil, misted daily, trimmed the dying parts, but she was fading fast. It was upsetting. She was clearly dying. I couldn’t think of anything more I could do to save her.

I remembered what the shaman said and, even though I felt a little foolish, kneeled down and whispered to her, “If you can heal, so can I.”

Within two days, that plant turned around. Her leaves turned dark green and she multiplied so fast I had to buy a larger planter. I couldn’t believe it. I also began to get better through various non-traditional means. (See PTSD: Frozen in Time.)

img_1315-2(Healing plantie third from right.)


When I got off the meds years ago, I was utterly discombobulated by incredible physical pain and energy shooting through my arms and legs every day. I meditated a lot, not just for stillness at the center, but for answers and help.

One day, I’d gone deep into a feeling of relaxed floating inside of a wave. Many times, when I was in that state, a sort of screenshot would open up in my head, startling me out of the trance mode. The screenshots were always helpful or epiphanic. So this day, I’d been in a kind of despair, needing comfort and assurance I wasn’t dying. (All my pain and bizarre symptoms made me feel like I was dying, even though the doctors could find nothing.) I floated in a deep relaxed blank when a screenshot slowly appeared. It was of the leaves of the first plant I’d ever gotten. They were around me in a gentle embrace. There was so much love. My eyes quickly opened. I was incredulous.


I read a book about plant spirits and the author suggested you invite the spirit of a plant to join you on a walk. Since they’re grounded all the time, they appreciate the opportunity to move. It was my habit at that time to dance to music in the living room when Jack went out. I walked over to Little Mama (see below), the plantie that held me in meditation, and invited her spirit to hop on mine and dance with me. I started the music and let loose. I was swinging around and doing my thing. I lifted my arms up and out and suddenly felt long tendrils reaching beyond my fingers into the air. I kept dancing, but I have to tell you, it freaked me out! It’s one thing to read this stuff, but when you experience non-ordinary reality happening, it really blows your mind. At least it did mine.



My dancing partner, Little Mama.


A wonderful book called The Secret Lives of Plants details one scientific case study after another showing plants have some kind of consciousness. The more you bond with a plant, the more love you show it, the more it is connected to you. I love that stuff.

I’ve been getting back to meditating again now that Jack is better and free time is opening up. I laid me down the other day, thinking of Anthie and wishing my ability to meditate and blank my mind was better developed so I could communicate with her. I fell into one of my old-time deep floats and, lo and behold, I got a screen shot of her. She was sitting next to our dining table and beside her stood what I think was her spirit–a soft, misty, yellow energy emanating light in a sort of stalk-like shape.


I am glad my worldview changed ten years ago. I’d been cynical all my life after losing my faith in a loving, interventionist Supreme Being because of genocide, molestation and slavery, not to mention what felt like a complete lack of response to my prayers as a child.

It’s true there are horrible things that happen in the world and sometimes no one intervenes, or what interventions there are appear fruitless, at least temporarily. There are also wonderful, miraculous things that happen that give me a sense of awe and wonder. As I always say, it’s a great mystery

I want to take action, if I’m able, when bad things happen. I also want to focus on those phenomena that give me a sense of awe and wonder.

Welcome Anthie!

P.S. Check out the coolest blog with gorgeous pictures of the faces of flowers. Don’t they look like they’re smiling and posing? From My Garden – Patricia Grace



Introducing My Plant, Minty

I was feeling down late last night. I knew spending time with Minty would be just the ticket, so I put on an old movie, took out my paper and coloring pencils, and got to work on her portrait.

Minty smells good, especially when I play with her long, curly tendrils. When I spray her with water or give her a bath, she laughs and laughs and splashes me back with cool fragrant currents of minty-ness.

She is very beautiful and knows it, yet she is not conceited.

She’s laid back and relaxed. She accepts people, places, things and situations as they are, and is, therefore, very serene.

She was a sixties flower child in San Francisco in her previous incarnation. She wore flowers in her hair and dressed in long, soft, tie-dyed cotton maxi dresses and sandals. She wrote poetry and drew flowers. She was at the first Love-In and Be-In. Sometimes, when I’ve played “Abraham, Martin and John”, I’ve seen a little tear slip down the side of her planter.

That’s not to say she is a sad plant. Far from it. She just has feelings, and lets them come out. It keeps her healthy.

It cheers me up to see her each morning because she is so happy to be alive.

One day, I was dancing in the living room. Something moved me to dance over to Minty. I asked her if she wanted to leap her spirit onto mine and dance with me. As I continued twirling and dancing through the room, I felt her tendrils flowing from the ends of my fingers.

Last night, she told me it is part of my soul’s journey to learn to create a sense of wellbeing on my own, independent of other people’s opinions and treatment of me. I also need to learn to trust my own reality, even if the whole world denies it.

I said, “It’s so tough to do sometimes, Minty.”

She said, “For sure.”

I said, “I survived as a kid by pretending my family’s version of reality was real and true, and then almost coming to believe it–when the truth was my family was not reflecting reality at all. As an adult, it’s still hard sometimes to trust my own reality when others vehemently deny it.”

She said, “That’s how you know it’s a life lesson. It keeps coming up over and over again.”

I said, “It’s a drag, man.”

She said, “I hear you, sister. Just remember, it’s all about love in the end. It’s the only thing that matters. All else will fall away one day, but that. When you are feeling down or wake up in the night empty and sad, focus on love. Think of the things you love, the people you love. See them in your mind’s eye.”

I said, “You are so wise, Minty. But I just have to say—you are such a flower-child! Did you like that song, the one that goes, ‘If you’re going to San Francisco, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair’?”

She said, “He wrote that for me, you know.”

I said, “No way!”


Isn’t Minty the coolest?

My Portrait of Minty


Minty in Real Life