How I Came to Love the Deer Who Ate my Little Sweet Plant

A few days ago, I came home to see my Little Sweet Plant reduced to only a few leaves. When I found her there, I was a little sad to think about taking a photo. But today I took the snapshot that you see here.

Let me tell you a few things about my Little Sweet Plant and why she is so dear and very special.

First of all, she has been my sole companion for the past few years. I have lived with her in eight homes, as I have moved from one place to another so frequently through these past years. More recently, with hesitation and concern for her health, I brought her to Ananda Village’s Seva House (an ashram/home for those in the Karma Yoga program here), when I moved here from Los Angeles. She had never been in cold areas and I wasn’t sure she could withstand the below freezing days that we had this past winter, here in the foothills of Sierra Nevada Mountains. My shared room with bunk beds was too small, and I had to leave her at the entrance corridor. But she has vibrantly survived and thrived, as beautiful as ever, as if wanting to support me in my recent new life steps.

She is also special because she was a gift I once gave to my soul friend, and once my friend had to return to her country, she asked me to care for this little plant.

I am not even sure this kind of plant is supposed to live this long. But I have loved her. I have practiced Sun Salutations next to her, listening to Gayatri Mantra in the background. I have kissed and AUM’ed her routinely. I have no doubt that has something to do with her extraordinary ability to adapt and grow and stay beautiful.

In any case, since we are now in warm beautiful sunny days, though she is an indoor plant, one day I decided to let her camp outside to enjoy some sun. It was a couple of days after, when I came home to see that here leaves were all gone.

Most probably, a deer or two, our beautiful dear neighbors and companions here at Ananda Village, had come across the Little Sweet Plant and thought “what a beautiful breakfast!”

After some shock and remorse, I noticed a peculiar thing. As you see in the photo, the deer had intentionally, no doubt, left a few of the best looking leaves untouched. I bet the deer had said to her: “I know you’re probably the Little Sweet Plant of someone and we don’t want you to be stripped all naked. But you know Divine Mother told us to eat some of you. But we will leave some of your leaves so you’d still look pretty while your stems will surely start making new little beautiful leaves soon!”

Sure enough, as you see in the photo, a beautiful new young leaf was born a couple of days ago.

Animals know how they’re part of life and how to sustain life. They never think that they are apart from any of it.

This episode made me think about how there are no animals out there, save humans, who can ever think they’re alone and separate. Animals, always in their natural “being”, somehow never forget the truth that they’re never alone, always part of a larger “one” reality.

It is interesting that it is only expected from the most evolved souls, human beings, in their great range of consciousness, to fall as deep into dark realms of unconsciousness, such as taking at the expense of others.

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Here’s a video I made about devotion and this Little Sweet Plant:

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