There is a plant called Asclepias Syriaca, which once bitten by a young caterpillar, releases a milky substance that essentially glues the mouth of the caterpillar shut. Some caterpillars do not even survive their first meal. It’s physiological, if you bite the right vein, you will die. I will protect myself.
Plants do whatever they can do to survive. They flower to attract pollinators, allowing them to continue life through their offspring. Their roots dig into the soil, absorbing moisture at any given chance. Their roots attach themselves to trees and can even soak up mist.
They fiercely protect themselves from being eaten by animals. They grow towards the sunlight. Can you imagine, aching for something so necessary to your existence, that you change the way in which you physically grow just to be near it?
Without sunlight, it is very possible that a plant cannot survive. Without nurturing ourselves, there is a very strong possibility that we ourselves will not survive. This world takes so much from us. It is draining and exhausting. We are constantly on guard, wondering what could happen next.
The difference is, the fruit that we guard are hearts. Our hearts, kept safe, exposed to the elements, listened to and ignored. Poor things. Over time, like plants, we react to things we think will harm us. We search for patterns and clues, and we tell our hearts to “get back in there, mister,” because we don’t like to feel any pain.
Sometimes the most beautiful and wonderful things in this world have to fight to be that way. Sometimes we have to protect ourselves from those around us. For our own survival we adopt habits and behaviors that prevent us from being hurt or damaged. Survival is necessary, but always, always, and I say this with my heart full and pounding, try to grow towards the sunlight.
I am always here.