Until recently scientists believed that a forest was a group of individual trees living on their own. Thanks to Suzanne Simard, a scientist who was originally mocked for her theory of the interconnectedness of trees, we have an amazing new understanding of the ingenious ways in which nature works.
“Forests, are sophisticated societies in which trees communicate and cooperate with one another sharing carbon and nutrients that flow from the biggest and oldest – the mother trees – to the youngest and those in need. This elaborate social network is marked by partnership not competition – with trees interconnected by mycorrhizal fungi in a complex pattern that fueled the regeneration of the entire forest.” – Peter Wohlleben, The Hidden Life of Trees
In addition to understanding the interconnectedness of nature, that cooperation, not competition, is the animating force of life, there seems to be a shift in understanding that we are not separate from nature but very are very much a part of it. For years, we let our ego tell us that we ruled the earth, that we were at the top of the animal kingdom, and that we were superior and separate. Slowly, we are coming to understand that we are only one part of the interconnected ecosystem.
We breathe in what trees breathe out, and they breathe in what we breathe out. We are a living, breathing, conscious part of the earth. We are one with nature and we can’t survive without it.
Mother Nature is beyond incredible. She “creates conditions conducive to life” and if we choose to learn from her, she could save us from ourselves.
Mother nature shows us how ecosystems flourish, something we are desperately in need of as the threat of climate disaster looms.
“Nature runs on sunlight,
uses only the energy it needs,
fits form to function,
banks on diversity,
demands local expertise,
curbs excesses from within,
and taps the power of limits” – Krista Tippett
The trees’ survival is dependent upon cooperation rather than competition. They collaborate to share resources (such as sunlight, nutrients, and water for trees), the old trees help the young, and they work together to withstand natural disasters (fires and storms). Everything is Upcycled, and nothing is wasted. They welcome other species (for pollination, and seed dispersal), and communication is vital (sharing information about resources and threats), they are resilient and adaptable and have a long-term perspective (investing in the future by producing seeds and saplings).
“We need to replace our old industrial chemistry book with nature’s recipe book.” Janine Benyus
It’s time to drop our “me first” mentality and take our cues from mother nature. We need more cooperation, more sharing of resources, and standing together in times of need. We need to communicate more effectively, listening and learning from those around us. Appreciating diversity. Using natural resources instead of chemicals, Thinking more long-term, and investing in our future and the future of generations to come.
I’m astonished at the leap in scientific knowledge and as always, blown away by nature and how interconnected we all are. The more we learn the more hopeful I am for our future. Yes, I use the word hope.
“Hope is often misunderstood. People tend to think that it is simply passive wishful thinking: I hope something will happen, but I’m not going to do anything about it. This is indeed the opposite of real hope, which requires action and engagement.” – Jane Goodall
It takes all of us working together to create the solutions our world desperately needs. Mother nature is showing us the way, if we would only listen.
Take time to get out in nature and let it nourish your soul. Happy Earth Day, April 22, 2023.
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