Everything relies on everything else in the cosmos in order to manifest—whether a star, a cloud, a flower, a tree, or you and me.
Thich Nhat Hanh reminds me that we're here to advance the common good, our soup, a collection of ingredients hanging around in the same bowl. Being the case, how important is it for its contents to be healthy, to find peace, and to live in joy as often as we can in proximity to one another?
In "The Hidden Life of Trees", there's a trove of awareness that comes up for me, with really just a cursory study...
“When trees grow together, nutrients and water can be optimally divided among them all so that each tree can grow into the best tree it can be. If you "help" individual trees by getting rid of their supposed competition, the remaining trees are bereft. They send messages out to their neighbors in vain, because nothing remains but stumps. Every tree now muddles along on its own, giving rise to great differences in productivity. Some individuals photosynthesize like mad until sugar positively bubbles along their trunk. As a result, they are fit and grow better, but they aren't particularly long-lived. This is because a tree can be only as strong as the forest that surrounds it. And there are now a lot of losers in the forest. Weaker members, who would once have been supported by the stronger ones, suddenly fall behind. Whether the reason for their decline is their location and lack of nutrients, a passing malaise, or genetic makeup, they now fall prey to insects and fungi.
But isn't that how evolution works? you ask. The survival of the fittest? Their well-being depends on their community, and when the supposedly feeble trees disappear, the others lose as well. When that happens, the forest is no longer a single closed unit. Hot sun and swirling winds can now penetrate to the forest floor and disrupt the moist, cool climate. Even strong trees get sick a lot over the course of their lives. When this happens, they depend on their weaker neighbors for support. If they are no longer there, then all it takes is what would once have been a harmless insect attack to seal the fate even of giants.”
The Unfold Project
As you know I am lifting up an ambitious project, and if I'm honest, I can't see it all. But I'm here and in it every day.
If you have contributed to my early goal to raise funds to make this a reality, THANK YOU!
If you haven't yet, here's me practicing the art of asking (I'm getting better at it!). I believe the world will be better for this in it, would you consider supporting me? You can get a refresh on the projects purpose here.
I hope you're having a perfect Sunday.