#9 decembrance 2019

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When Zoë was a toddler I remember spending a weekend with a friend in Deep Creek, Maryland where on a walk in the woods--finding many sprouted acorns--we collected them in a pail and I brought them home. At home I bundled Zoë up and trundled off with shovel and bucket jollying her along to help me plant my hopeful oak trees. I don't think a single one of those acorns sprouted. Perhaps those acorns remembered the season of their own childhood and could discern this was not forest but still pasture. They were not ready to be the instigators of new woods or the potential of a forest. So many of our saplings got eaten by the deer or mice or died in a drought. A few survivors got mowed down by an inattentive mower. But many persimmons, dogwoods and cedars grew up. Hope, good intentions, dreams of woods, envisioned privacy, and the desire to replace what I burn all fed my imagination.

09 winter 2019.jpg"We found that trees could communicate, over the air and through their roots. Common sense hooted us down. We found that trees take care of each other. Collective science dismissed the idea. Outsiders discovered how seeds remember the seasons of their childhood and set buds accordingly. Outsiders discovered that trees sense the presence of other nearby life. That a tree learns to save water. That trees feed their young and synchronize their masts and bank resources and warn kin and send out signals to wasps to come and save them from attacks. Here's a little outsider information, and you can wait for it to be confirmed. A forest knows things. They wire themselves up underground. There are brains down there, ones our own brains aren't shaped to see. Root plasticity, solving problems and making decisions. Fungal synapses. What else do you want to call it? Link enough trees together, and a forest grows aware."

Richard Powers, from The Overstory.Powers,

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This page contains a single entry by Catherine White published on December 9, 2019 9:40 PM.

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