So I’m nearly through the “Roots” portion of the book which follows the emergence of eight human characters’ stories. The last four sections are titled Trunk, Crown and Seeds. What a perspective on creation this is and a much needed shift in perspective. Nature isn’t all tooth and claw, that’s just the animal world, those of us who make our lively hood from killing and eating the plants which alone create their own food from thin air, water and light. Maybe we can learn from them?
Here are some of my favorite quotes so far:
It’s a miracle, she tells her students, photosynthesis: a feat of chemical engineering underpinning creation’ entire cathedral. All the razzmatazz of life on Earth is a free-rider on that mind-boggling magic act. The secret of life: plants eat light and air and water, and the stored energy goes on to make and do all things.
You and the tree in your backyard come from a common ancestor. A billion and a half years ago, the two of you parted ways. But even now, after an immense journey in separate directions, that tree and you still share a quarter of your genes. . .
This is not our world with trees in it. It’s a world of trees, where humans have just arrived.
…trees are far more social than even Patricia suspected. There are no individuals. There aren’t even separate species. Everything in the forest is the forest. Competition is not separable from endless flavors of cooperation. Trees fight no more than do the leaves on a single tree. It seems most of nature isn’t red in tooth and claw, after all. For one, these species at the base of the living pyramid have neither teeth nor talons. But if trees share their storehouses, then every drop of red must float on a sea of green.
And, for @Christy:
The best arguments in the world won’t change a person’s mind. The only thing that can do that is a good story.
I may have found my latest Bible.