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Humans and Plants

by obinna Anayo

In the aftermath of the COVID 19 imposed lockdown, so many people have made confessions of discoveries hitherto unknown to them. These findings vary from one individual to another, it ranges from personal experience, abilities, learning new skill or idea, and in some cases, a shocking discovery that blows their mind.
In most cases, the environment or locality one finds himself in contributes to the kind or nature of discovery made. One can only discover what is accessible, physically, emotionally, or otherwise.

During the lockdown, I discovered a unique and beautiful relationship that can exist between humans and plants. It occurred to me that in practice, communication can very well happen without uttering words. If words must be spoken, one can find meaning just in a few. In the three months thereabout I spent almost in solitary confinement in our house, I found companionship, friendship and also love with the plants in our garden.

During primary/ secondary school education, we learned about plants- how they take in oxygen and give out carbon dioxide. Photosynthesis you remember? That was good knowledge but never as profound as what I discovered about plants. Plants, in my opinion, give more than that.

Plants give love, protection, and also offer the kind of companionship I have never witnessed in my life.
Before lockdown, the constant hustling of a typical Lagos working class lady made me unaware of the value of plants. Maybe for their aesthetic values, yes, I am aware. The sudden imposition of social distancing laws, coupled with my family getting stuck in the United Kingdom ensured I would endure a lonely and torturous three months of lockdown alone in our family house in Ikoyi Lagos.

Maybe I am exaggerating this relationship. Perhaps I was mentally tortured yet the fact remains that I found succor in the presence of these green living things. While I watered them, I could see their laughter. Before I leave, the wave at me with a mist of “oxygen full” emitted breeze, which instantly absorbs my frustrations and depressions giving me hope. I take it in with joy and exhale deeply to the waiting embrace of the plants very much in need of the carbon dioxide coming out of my lungs.

My joy knew no bounds when I planted leftover okra seed in our kitchen. It sprouted grew into a plant, then gifted me beautiful flowers. When the delicious green seeds came, I felt fulfilled.

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