Wild Eyed #01

Dream-talking with lichens

by Stephen Harrod Buhner

Fifteen years ago I had an odd dream. In it, a medicinal plant that I was interested in, an Usnea lichen that is ubiquitous on trees throughout the world, told me that while it was good for healing human lungs it was primarily a medicine for the lungs of the planet, the trees.

I awoke. I was amazed. It had never occurred to me in quite that way that plants have some life and purpose outside their use to human beings. But, of course, when I thought it over, I realized that the human species has only been around for about a million years.

A lichen, that has been intimately connected to tree species for at least 150 million years, must have been doing something all that time besides pining away for our emergence.

The Lost Language of Plants: The Ecological Importance of Plant Medicines to Life on Earth
Stephen Harrod Buhner
page ix
Chelsea Green Publishing, 2002 (325 pages)
The Recall of the Wild
The Recall of the Wild

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