A book I read a while ago by plant scientist Monica Gagliano called Thus Spoke the Plant is one that has stayed with me.
What is lingering and impacting me still is her contention that plants might possess intelligence, memory and learning, although the biological mechanisms at play may be fundamentally different than our own. This is what amazes me and continues to play out in my own awareness. 

Gagliano contends that intelligent organisms can be, and are, independent of the traditional brain and nervous system model. That is to say, consciousness can and does exist separate from the brain and nervous system. The unique way our animal bodies are constructed are only the way in which our bodies mediate consciousness.
Since having that idea in my mind, my trips within nature have become new experiences.  I spent a few days in July in retreat in the middle of a forest and by the ocean. Those few days were so infused with magic, messages and presence in so many parts of nature. I believe without this new and growing paradigm, I would have not “felt” those experiences so keenly before. 

It was like the rocks were alive and revealed themselves to me. It was as if the trees were standing sentinels with so much wisdom. The ocean and the rocks and the sky all had their own individual consciousness it seemed to me and I could see them interpenetrating.

And still it lingers, now as a keen awareness of the plants in my house and the beauty in flowers that I admire around me, much as I used to admire passing dogs or a beautiful person or piece of art. 
Now that I seem to be able to see with a different eye or way of perceiving, a question arises for me:

Would our world truly be different if more of us saw the consciousness in other entities beside ourselves?

I don’t know the answer to this question, but hope it provokes you to look more closely at questions of sentience and consciousness as well.

“You cannot protect the environment unless you empower people, you inform them, and you help them understand that these resources are their own, that they must protect them.”  … Wangari Maathai