When the Student is Ready the Teacher Appears      

by Pam Montgomery

Ah spring, thank you for your return bringing your multiple shades of green. Have you noticed green? Let me count the ways - lime green, soft pale green, bright neon green, yellow-green, dark evergreen, lush green, shiny green, the vertical greening of a mountain, take-your-breath-away green of stream-side moss and now as early summer emerges carpets of green provide lounging spots near streams, ponds and lakes. Green is my favorite color but most of all in summer when my heart opens in response to green (the color of our heart chakra). It's like my heart recognizes the frequency of green and vibrates in syncopation with the burgeoning life all around me. Together my heart and green strike harmonizing chords and the pulsing movement toward growth begins both within and without. 
There's an excitement in spring as if we are being readied for a great gift to be bestowed upon us. We step into the school of Nature filled with libraries of old, new, often forgotten but easily remembered (yes, we are enrolled in this school) teachings. As we venture into this vast arena of potential one only needs to open oneself to receiving the wisdom that is everywhere. Some of the greatest maestros in this school that generates all life are the plants, the GREEN beings. These very expressive and communicative teachers are always available to nourish us, respire with us, heal us, entrain with us, sing with us, transfer light to us, inspire us and teach us. 
So here we are enrolled in the greatest learning center of all time and yet how do we avail ourselves of these profound yet often simple and accessible teachings? Did you know that one of a plant's signals to begin growing is when a brief (one minute) light is switched on after being in hours of darkness. I have contemplated this understanding for a while and have discovered that it is true for humans as well. We can be in the dark for the longest time but it only takes a brief switch-on of light to begin our growth. It's like that one Aha moment, or that moment of true connection, that moment of being in awe of spring green, or the home coming of being grounded in place or, further, the recognition of life- giving breath from the plants, the remembrance of drinking water directly from the Earth or the sense of belonging when walking amongst tall trees is all that is needed to switch on the light within to see what is waiting to be explored, discovered and learned.
Then comes the most beautiful part of being a student in this most amazing university we call life which is: when the student is ready the teacher appears. Each time we raise our consciousness one more notch we are presented with another flowering or gift of learning. In my own experience the plants taught me about themselves, like who could be eaten and who’s medicine is to take internally. They taught me through my sensory awareness and as my relationship grew I was shown how to deepen through my heart and receive felt sensations of their inherent vibratory resonance. When I was ready they made me more consciously aware of my breath by taking something as simple and common place as breathing and teaching me a way to breathe with them that breaks down barriers, opening doors that I didn't even know were there and inviting me to enter realms of deep bonding.  Then they offered themselves as Initiators much like old-time village ways of initiating youth into becoming adults only now plants are initiating us into what it means to be truly human. The most recent gift the plants are offering is that of hearing their voices through the use of a biofeedback device where the plants can literally sing. The level of communication being attempted is profound and yet as simple as listening to the symphony of a stream, the chorus of birds in the early morning hours or the whistling of wind blowing through trees and in these moments a memory stirs of a time when we easily communicated with the natural world. You realize you actually DO know how to communicate with plants, trees, water, wind and Earth as a part of this great Nature instead of being separate from it. Maybe this great school of life we are enrolled in isn't teaching us anything new at all but is actually teaching us to remember.  As we remember, bit by bit, who we truly are plants support and encourage us by giving us one more piece to remember, exactly when we are ready.  Perhaps if we allow ourselves more Aha moments of light-switching-on experiences, we will initiate yet another level of growth. Who knows, maybe we can become real human beings, someday, and take up our rightful place within Nature.