The Plants Have Spoken

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report gives humanity a Code Red for survival odds. A number of the plants are in a tizzy of rejoicing about this report; saying, more or less, good riddance—the planet needs to return to balance, and it ain’t gonna happen with those leafless bipeds thinking they’re in charge. But at the Plant Convocation, some are putting in a moderating tone, voicing hope that the humans might yet get it right.

One old ceiba tree puts it this way: They’re a strange species, no doubt about it. They do seem to enjoy scaring themselves up to the very thinnest precipice of extinction. They may certainly have waited too long this time. But I have watched them before, at ultimate moments of no return, pull out all the stops to transform. They can do it, I’ve seen it. Right now they’re a juicy soup dissolved in the mess of their cocoon. But they just might make the shapeshift required.

I, for one, hope they do, says a tiny primrose. Because many of the humans love us flowers so. Why, there was a girl from Sweden wailing yesterday when she read the IPCC report. Her tears fell on my leaves, and the flavor of her grieving was deep and true.

I would like to speak for the mosses. We met as a class, and I carry to this Convocation our sense of being quite curious about what humans could become. If there is anything we can do to assist their transition into beings who at last understand their place, then all the mosses of the earth wish to offer it.

A word please? We aquatic flowering plants in the sedge family have been aware of human hubris for the whole short time they have existed. As reeds, we understand the temptation to be invasive. We also understand the tenderness of being easily swayed or overcome. We reeds believe compassion for the human species is in order.

One young plant representative lets her anger out. Bah. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a panel of 195 member countries, blah blah blah. The humans make studies and form committees and take a decade they don’t have, to prove something they all knew before they started. And now they gasp, and say words like stark and harrowing. Huh. They’re as surprised at what they have done as one of their toddlers, after he deliberately knocks over his glass of milk.

A final voice arose. I have a thought from the vegetable kingdom, from the root vegetables in particular. It is not up to us to judge. There is no earthly point in it. Let us in the plant world continue in our long silent vigil of the dear bumbling humans. They will extinguish themselves, or, they will change.

©Susa Silvermarie 2021

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