And don’t think the garden
loses its ecstasy in winter.
It’s quiet, but the roots
are down there riotous.
I was talking about plants in winter with a friend recently and she asked about staying connected with them in the winter when all seems dead. It was a surprising question to me because I never think I am not connected with the plants, no matter what the weather or where I am.
I believe that plants have spirits and intelligence in their own way, and that we can connect with them on an energetic and spiritual level, as well as getting to know them in the physical realm. So I always feel in some way connected with my plant friends.
When my friend and I talked about it I mentioned that even in winter, there are plants that may seem dead but are simply sleeping. We may not even know they are there (plants that die back to the ground) or think they are alive, but they are very much alive, with their roots tucked away in the ground.
Roots are so important to plants—they help the plant get nutrients and water, keep it in place in the ground, keep it from falling over. Interestingly, roots not only pull things up out of the ground for the plant to use, but also pass things back down into the ground, such as carbon which then gets absorbed back into the soil.
Roots are also one of the ways plants can communicate with each other, by exchanging soluble compounds and by the threads of fungi that spread between plants. And that is just what we humans can measure with our physical tools.
I find the idea of roots very important in our human lives as well. We say we are putting down roots when we make a commitment to live in a place. We talk about being rooted in a place when we are firmly established somewhere. When we want to ground ourselves, we visualize roots growing from our feet deep into the earth. The concept of roots is about being grounded and connected, as is the actual experience for plants.
So dreaming about roots in winter is dreaming of the plants, those visible above-ground and those slumbering invisibly through the cold, knowing they are alive and feeling their spirits, their energy.
It is thinking of connections, those of people connecting with people, and those between humans and plants.
It is knowing that even when nothing seems to be happening, there is growth and life flourishing and nurturing below the visible surface.
(Image courtesy of Pixabay: https://pixabay.com/en/root-tree-root-hanalei-kauai-276446/)