Close up of leaf with veins appearing as black silhouettes

It is my firm belief that plants are intelligent—that in fact, all life is infused with a creative intelligence. Life has to be intelligent to adapt, each form in its own way, to its own circumstances. To explore that belief, I set up an online conversation with Dr. Monica Gagliano, a brilliant plant scientist. The conversation didn’t go at all as planned. In my mind, I was going to speak with a world-renowned scientist about the intelligence and awareness of plants. Instead, we talked about darkness and light; about her being called by plants to go to Mexico and meditate in a room in total darkness for 39 days; of going intensely inward and then out to a stage with bright lights and...

— by Susan Eirich, Ph.D. — We have a tiny cactus here in the office that I have had for years. It was being originally sold as a souvenir from Arizona. It was potted in a blue pot glued to a magnet and destined to become a refrigerator decoration. I couldn’t stand life being treated that way, so I rescued it. Over the years, it has had quite an adventurous life. When it first came, a round little ball the size of a quarter, it covered itself with dozens of tiny blooms year after year. How did it produce such amazing beauty and profusion from a bit of dry soil? Then one summer, when I put it out to enjoy the Idaho sun, apparently some mice came and threw it on the ground. They...

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