Stray Thoughts

Twin trees on the sand at Kings Beach, Tahoe Vista, California

Twin trees on the sand at Kings Beach, Tahoe Vista, California


Twin Trees

You know those double trees that you see now and then? The twins that apparently grew from a single seed but immediately differentiated into what appear to be two independent trees? They are great examples of the dichotomy between individual and group life. We are all like those trees. In fact we are those trees. All life on Earth is composed of living cells, sometimes specialized to function with others in a larger organism. Everything that makes us up – all the matter and energy – is recycled from other living beings and exchanged with others all the time. We are like the cells that make up our bodies, part of a larger life system we may not pay conscious attention to. Our brains have developed egos that can get in the way of understanding that we are not isolated; we are parts of a whole.


I think it’s more effective to focus on what you want instead of what you don’t want. In the past, I have thought a lot about how I don’t want to be so forgetful. I am transitioning now into focusing on what I want – I want to be more rememberful. Somebody tell the dictionary people to add that word.


Isn’t it nice that while we are busy with all our worries and activities, all the little decomposers, like insects and fungi and worms, are toiling away, breaking things down, returning nutrients to the Earth and allowing life to continue on the planet? Think about it: Without decomposers, the nutrients that trees took from the soil would never return to allow new plants to grow. Bodies of undecomposing dead animals and plants would pile up everywhere, the surface of the waters would be thick with dead fish, and life, the entire life of the planet, would quickly disappear. Including, by the way, human life. So next time you see a worm trapped on a hot sidewalk after the rain, consider returning it to the earth where it can continue its vital job.

Decomposers in a Large Tree. Photo byTerry Manier.

Decomposers in a Large Tree. Photo byTerry Manier.


Speaking of decomposers, did you know that ants not only sleep, but may actually dream? More information about insects beneath this flower:


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