Once upon a time, a tree, just like all other trees, was born. He was just a tiny baby seeds. Just like you when you were born, naked (and wrinkly).
The seed had fallen in a timely fashion, had been pushed far enough from its parent, hadn’t been eaten by any marvellous spatuletail (sic), or devoured by an hangry capybara, the soil had been fresh enough and it had survived a late freeze. The tiny baby seed had passed nature’s tests. It could grow into a tree.
During its first years, the young tree often clung on to life by a leaf. The forest had been scared when the youngling had almost died at the heart of the drought. Young trees are fragile beings and the wild can be vicious to the weak.
Troublesome teenage times were upon the tree now. Burgeons all over his face, crazy burst of growth, but still thin as a stick. He dreamed of facing big storms and legions of grasshoppers, but the forest knew he wouldn’t live to see the morning of it. He needed better anchoring and stronger branches to face the real hardships of treelife.
On a day of both rain and sun, the tree understood it had become an adult. He had a round-shaped bushy foliage, chlorophyll breath, strong limbs. With time, animals came to live with him, bringing him important nutrients, but also some serious headaches…
He had a couple of issues with some of the tenants, like Woody, who would peck around day in day out, or the vine who wouldn’t stop expanding at the bottom of his trunk. Sometimes, the clouds seemed whiter on the other side of the river. But in his capacity of Keystone Species sitting at the Forest Security Council (FSC), he had a responsibility on these lands.
When times got hard, all forest dwellers came to him. Some for shelter, some for food, and some others for wisdom, like this time this bald round primate that sat down for seven days and rose up an entirely new person.
Then came the old age, The beautiful leaves crowning its top started going earlier, his forehead letting through more and more rays of sun. Its leaves, once so green and so weatherproof were getting munched by the caterpillars. The tree was not fussed though, he had done what he had come to do in this life.
After many many frosty winters, summer droughts, bustling springs, and red autumns, one day, the tree did not wake up from its sleep. This year, not a particularly harsh winter mind you, no sparrow came to nest its eggs in its branches. No new twig sprouted from its last lively limb. The tree had breathed its last CO2 particle.
A full family of termites thought it had struck gold when they ran into this half-rotten trunk. “Such quality food” they said, “just lying there on the floor, could you believe it?” they marvelled.
Nothing is ever lost in nature. Whether you’re an itsy-bitsy spiderling or a millennial sequoia, there will always be someone happy to transform you into another living thing.
Trees are the one group of species which understand time differently from the others. A tree’s life encompasses that of many generations for animals. That makes forests the stablest (thus richest) ecosystem.
Imagine that when you plant a seed, you are creating a new ecosystem for animals and plants! Worlds can be small uh?