The more our world looks and functions like this natural world, the more likely we are to be accepted on this home that is ours, but not ours alone. -Janine M. Benyus
There isn’t a week that passes that I don’t observe something in nature as an example for human life. As the light slants and the temperature dips, the green morphs. Stunning and showy, streaky and temporarily ebullient, the autumn transition, in all of its glory screams of biodiversity.
Differences. Each plant its own shade, a reminder that difference equals strength. In a forest, the level of plant diversity directly affects the amount of animals that can sustain themselves there. A vigorous ecosystem is healthy because of the diversity. It is resilient because of the connections. Human communities are no different, no matter how hard we may try to be.
I went to a community plant talk with a friend this week. An expert on plant morphology presented, the first in a series of talks organized by a teacher interested in sharing knowledge about plants and earth care while community building. An audience member asked why the centre of plants like irises, for example, seem to die out over time. Another audience member, a local horticulturist, began to talk about how the plants begin to knot together, stifling themselves, until they learn to grow outward. As gardeners, if we divide them and turn the knots out, their growth is encouraged. Another lesson for humanity. The schism is natural. It is healthy. A simple, intentional redirection to ensure we all have enough space to meet our needs and we can happily coexist. Together and connected, we thrive.
If you, dear reader, have any stories about what you have learned from nature, please share in the comments.