Monday, September 26, 2011

Are Plants Safe?

There are no stupid questions, they say.  I try to remember this, since I am asked many questions.  I know that the question gives me information about the mind and life experience of the asker.  For example, a seemingly bright engineering student once asked me, "Why do Jews boycott Christmas?"

(I explained that in Judaism there are holidays for non-human birthdays, such as Tu B'Shevat, the birthday of the trees, and Rosh Hashanah, the birthday of creation, but that the religion doesn't normally commemorate human birthdays.)

I had a tenant some years ago, a medical student at McMaster University.  She had an undergraduate degree - probably in the sciences, probably in biology.  It was late fall and I told her I'd be moving some of the flowering outdoor plants into the house.  She asked, "Is it safe?"

At first I thought this was a very stupid question.  Was she so disconnected from nature that she imagined houseplants might kill us?

Yet, she probably DID have a science degree and would soon be a doctor - and there was that time a few years back when trees were taking out celebrity skiers.  She might have feared the mutant killer geraniums, or merely figured that plants had a reason to be angry.

1 comment:

  1. I always respect nature, because someday she may demand we 'leave' because we are the 'root' cause of her problems. I could be 'bark'ing up the wrong tree, however I am no 'sap' and 'wood' know better. I can be reached at the 'branch' office.