So often we hear the phrase “circle of life”. It is regularly used in conjunction with something that is dead and being broken down to give life to something else. There is a rather large log in our front yard from a tree cut down by a neighbor. We were going to try and do something with it a couple years back, but the wood was not right. So there it sat. This log is about four feet long, and about twelve inches diameter. Not a small log so there it sits still.
NOTE: See the holes in the ground to the right? I refer you back to this post about our masked visitors.
I stepped out of the house and saw the beautiful fungi growing from the log. I began to ponder the “nature of things”, which is never a good thing for me to do. You never know where my brain is going to head, and it usually makes others just shake their head in confusion or disbelief. “Hey,” I tell them. “Why not enjoy the ride with me?” Most don’t, and that’s okay too. I have to believe, however, that if you are reading this you will hop on board my magical brain train and enjoy the clatter of my grey matter.
So here we go…Think about it. We are part of the natural order, or at least we were. I say this no matter which of the 3 main branches of origination and development anyone espouses: divine creation, evolution, interstellar genetic manipulation.
- divine creation – we were formed as homo-sapiens from nothing by the power of God
- evolution – we started as something else and became homo-sapiens naturally over many years
- interstellar genetic manipulation – some advanced race (possibly defunct) manipulated the genetic code of life on this planet to create homo-sapiens
I know the last two are oversimplified to such a degree as to be possibly unrecognizable to those who actually study such things, but that is NOT the point of this post. Right. Getting back to the point of this post. So we are part of the natural order…yeah that’s it.
Even if you are a 1 or a 3 from above, there is no disputing that we are currently linked to everything around us. We used to live in caves and were part of the food chain. What separated us was and is the ability to alter our environment to suit our needs at the expense of the rest of nature. That ability, exercised to the extreme that we have taken it, changes the world to such a degree that we have pushed some species to extinction, and are pushing others to the brink of it. The problem here is that we are “programmed” this way. We need to survive. We want to survive. It’s why we can’t hold our breath forever. It’s why we instinctively run from fire. It’s just who we are. I am not judging us, because I believe the majority of my species just wants to get through the day unscathed. The reality of it is that we are probably doomed as a species to alter our environment to the degree that it will no longer be able to sustain us. At least not without a drastic shift in global consciousness or technology that will allow us to further alter the world we’ve altered…or we figure out FTL (faster than light) travel. I think we will be able to figure out FTL before the whole shift in global consciousness stuff. Just in case some of you might think I feel defeated and am trying to sew doom and gloom, let me correct you. Just because I believe we are headed this way, doesn’t change the fact that there is beauty all around us.
Take the gorgeous, white, shelf-like fungi that is living happily in my front yard upon the memory of a tree. Look at the contrast in color, hue, saturation shape, texture, moisture content from the host upon which it sits and feeds. It is amazing to behold. And no matter what, I am grateful for the opportunity to behold it.
We don’t often think of fungi as beautiful. We associate it with rot…decay…parasitic infestation. Were it not for these and other organisms, however, our world would be littered with 100% non-biodegradable matter. We make enough on our own, so we thank you, nature, for managing the circle of life for us. There is a balance with the beauty of it’s form to the ugliness of it’s purpose. And THAT, my friends is what nature is all about.
So to you all, I say take some time today to stop and spot the fungi.