The Forest has to be, for me, the quintessential pattern of ecological success. Let it give some space to a wetland and the fringes giving support to various grains, and it is complete. But it is the multi-storey functionality of a forest that really fascinates me.
In a forest every part of the soil is covered; plants easily stretching out and up in rich variety with leaf and bark litter settled between - nothing is left bare and vulnerable. Wind, rain and sun are moderated by the different layers of canopy and ground-cover, giving protection to the soil and assisting a constant regeneration of new life on the forest floor. A multitude of micro-climates give full sanctuary to all the dynamics of plant, animal and insect life. Billions of organisms that we do not even begin to fully appreciate thrive in this productive medium, giving and taking in ways we can never hope to reproduce artificially.
Alive and clean. Who has not walked a forest floor and deeply breathed tof he living freshness? And we can go back year on year and see this living organism sustaining macro and micro systems from enormous reserves patiently built up over time. I go with eyes and heart wide open to see and learn.
A forest, untouched, spans the years from childhood to old age. It brings continuity and quiet sanity. Everything is used and recycled; there is no toxic waste-dump. It brings forth life from death, and maintains equilibrium of macro and microcosms that never get out of balance if left alone. And should an invader try to move in, the compound cycles of life within this giant organism envelope and smother it, unless it is able to find some small niche and enter into the equilibrium.
This is a living tapestry. The rustle of the leaves, the birds in joyous background cacophony, and a quietness loud with jubilant busyness. Does the peace not pour into every empty part of your soul? In your growing stillness do you not become more alive? Do your eyes begin to see more, and your ears begin to hear more? Aaah…... this is Goodness on display. This is a handiwork that gives the heart pause to sit in awe and renewal.
It has been said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Everything that a forest offers I want to build on my land. It contains all that a mature eco-system can offer. The basic structure I can give, but I know that Father God has added the rest; it cannot but bring forth the life He originally spoke into it. I know He loves when I see His untouched handiwork.
Until next time,