Wonders of Nature.

Julia accompanied me on a drive down to the hardware store to get some in-wall mounts for power receptacles {you can never have enough power, right?}. When I say I’m going somewhere and ask if anyone wants to come, Julia is the voice that answers. We take the time together to share thoughts from the mundane to the philosophic.

On the drive there, Julia informed me that one of the things she would really like to see during her life, is the Baobab tree. Well, having been born and raised in the very country that is home to this amazing giant, I described my memories of the Baobab to her. Its strange glossy gray skin, how it feels almost slippery yet is completely dry. How it really has no wood per se, just a very compact fibrous makeup that feels woody but is not. We discussed creme of tartar, and the fruit pods from which the real McCoy {or the real McCoy as far as I’m concerned} is extracted. The Baobab really is a wonder of nature.

Food for thought.

Wandering around the store for a few minutes granted my mind the respite it needs to ruminate on the topic of discussion. For whatever reason, this became thoughts on the wonders of nature.

Within nature, everything is a wonder.

From the smallest living organisms to the largest. For inanimate, dead dust, to brilliant gems cut to reveal the reflected lights of the universe hidden within.  From the insignificant things we never see and seldom consider, to the most magnificent we personally encounter.

For me far and away the most majestic, to the point of being a spiritual encounter, is the Giant Redwood. This magnificent tree is now limited to small parts of the north-western coastal area of the continental U.S.A.  Over 95% of the original old growth redwoods have been cut down and used for timber. Probably the only reason the Giant Redwoods have been spared this fate is that, as far as timber goes, Giant Redwoods are terrible. Their wood is unsuitable for construction, and there isn’t enough profit to be made from felling them for firewood.

Magnificence, saved not for its wonder, but because man can’t consume it. How sad man can’t see past his own immediate needs, or the potential for profit, and grant all of nature the respect it deserves?

So, if you do visit the U.S.A. the thing I would recommend seeing, over any other, is the Giant Redwood tree. Forget the Grand Canyon, New York City, Niagara Falls, and Las Vegas. Each of those has been ruined by commercialism. If you want to experience something truly majestic and life-altering, then stand beneath one of nature’s magnificent creations. {Yes, I would as gladly stand beneath a micro-organism, and would likely perceive equivalent magnificence within it, but sometimes size does indeed modify our perception.}

As you stand beneath a Giant Redwood and gaze upwards you will feel time slow, the suddenly indecently hasty rush of blood through your veins, you will feel the earth alive and altering beneath your feet, and you will see the sky move, even if there is not a cloud in sight.  The feeling of life, of living, of being, I had when I did this was literally awe inspiring.  Will your experience similar things?  I can’t promise you will, but if all you do is sit in an air-conditioned car as you drive through one, sparing but an irritated, quick glance skyward as its shadow consumes the smartphone which so avidly holds your attention… Well, I can assure that then, you won’t.

We humans are here for the span of a hundred years, if we are exceptionally long lived. Giant Redwoods are here for two thousand.  Some stood hundreds of feet tall even as Rome fell.  Let us not permit the mightiest of known living entities left on earth to fall because man finds something he can exploit with their demise.

That would be a true tragedy, and mankind has visited enough tragedy upon humanity and our wonderful, wounded earth already.


About C.G.Ayling

Musing misuser of words, lover of lyrical literature, author, occasional contrary thoughts. An honorable man’s name, in memoriam.
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