We live between the plants. Everywhere, from the bank in front of my house to the vacant lots in back of the nearby public housing complex, there are plants. I can't remember when I became taller than the plants and started to pass right by them.
I tried to find out the names of the plants around here, and I discovered that many of them are far from their original homeland. This made me realize that there was a time when these plants weren't part of the landscape in this country and that nobody can guarantee they will still be here in the future. Before anyone notices, the plants may have changed.
From between the plants, one might be able to see buildings and people's coming and goings in France, or the vast wilderness and the pyramids in Mexico. When I realize this, I start to think that what I can see now or have seen from between the plants in the past is extremely valuable. Many species of plants cross the sea in the midst of human activity. The relationship between plants and the things we see from between them is not inevitable. It was only a coincidence that I encountered these plants at any given time in any given place.
We take it for granted that plants cannot move in the way that animals do, and that they always stay in the same place in the same silent way. But plants really do travel. They perceive the world outside in a way that we don't understand and they do their best to survive in the place they are rooted. Plants turn their flowers toward the sun and send their roots to explore the soil. What have they learned about the bank and the housing complex? How does the soil in a distant land feel to them? The space around us is filled with plants, changing its composition as time goes by.
These photographs show the things I have seen from between the plants and are also a natural history of the times and places I have been.