When we were children, we were taught that there were living and non-living things. As our teachers pointed out the differences between what possessed life and what didn’t, we nodded our heads obediently and soaked in the information.
At least, I know I did.
It all sounded so true, because I had never heard a stone squeak, nor had I ever prodded a live kitten without getting a response.
When I was 8, I had to memorize a speech about JC Bose, the celebrated scientist, who proposed that plants have feelings and presented concrete evidence for the same. I never took it seriously back then, but my mother, who was ever so fond of plants, made a note of that point and stressed it time and again.
When I was 18, I would get to see it for myself. Of course, it never shouted, or even moved from its place, but what I observed on it was just sheer magic – mostly because I had never observed a plant so closely before.
There was this sapling that I had planted in my front yard at home and then forgotten about. It began to get all withered, naturally. And then one fine day I happened to stop by this sapling, and felt a surge of guilt knowing I had abandoned this tiny thing – it must have felt so lonely amidst all those seasoned trees and bushes and what not.
I gave it a little water and lots of love, and I did it every day. It’s surprising what a little care could do, though. The plant started to sprout tiny green leaves, one by one. I watched the tender green spot grow into a fledgling of a leaf, and then into the fully grown photosynthetic machinery that it was. The simple act gave me so much happiness, I was literally dancing with joy.
And then there came another, and another, and the baby plant started growing taller and taller.
We always associate life with unbridled activity and lots of movement. A leaping doe, a chattering monkey, a laughing child. And then there are these gentle providers of life, seemingly leading boring lives yet so full of activity within.
This beautiful time lapse video is proof to that.
It makes me wonder what life is, in truth.
What makes a simple agglomeration of matter become the very manifestation of uniqueness and miracles.
And it makes me wonder if all life may be so dynamic to the naked eye. Physics tells us that even seemingly solid objects have wave-like properties, though undetectable in the gross environment. Everything is just atoms in perpetual motion, a collection of energy just existing in infinite space.
So what is life truly, I wonder!