Nature is built to procreate. There is no more powerful force within every creature on this planet - including trees, plants, animals and fungi - than the power to create itself into the future indefinitely. It is the basis of the survival instinct that fuels the genius of adaptation. Nature's imagination when it comes to continuing to manifest the dream of life is infinite and when we help Nature by planting and tending trees and restoring ecosystems, we are tapping into the most powerful force available on earth.
We see this magnificent force at play in the dance of birds, wildly woven into their mating rituals. Their outrageously vibrant feathers, exotic songs, nest building architectural genius and migratory marathons have all evolved from this drive to self perpetuate. Where would life be without birds? It would cease. The web of terrestrial inter-linking species would suffer too great a break in the chain. Birds are seed and compost deliverers. Their very lives drive forward the procreation of trees, plants and grasses – forests, meadows and wetlands. They are the winged heroes of the sky and a sacred part of the balance of life. Their procreative costumes, songs and dances are unmatched in Nature and their maternal, and paternal instincts to feed and protect - to teach the next generation to fly - are a true marvel.
Photo by Yashas Narayan
We see this miraculous power at work in the swarms of bees amongst the glorious scents and colors of flowers that have evolved to attract them. Powerfully intoxicating sensual beauties - flowers lure the sky-dancing pollinators into their secret places to enable their lineage to flower on into the future. The symbiotic relationship between bees and flowering plants and trees is a procreative wonder. The life of the hive is a complex social dynamic entirely focused on ensuring future generations of bees. Healthy ecosystems are abundant with bees. When you help plant trees you are also helping the bees by creating more habitat.
We see this procreative force visibly fill they air during spring when tens of thousands of tree and plant species around the world explode the possibilities of their next of kin in an ecstatic pulse of seeds to be carried by the wind - eaten, digested and distributed by birds and attached to all manner of fur and paws and expelled by creatures within their nutrient-rich excrement into ecosystems worldwide. Germinating in the spring rains. Seeds are everywhere. Geoff Lawton, a permaculture master, states that there are up to 2,000 latent seeds in every square foot of dirt. Invisible to the human eye. Just waiting for the right moment to come to life and work their magic. The genetic blueprints for life to flourish are hidden in plain sight all around us and we have the knowledge we need to collect, nurture and grow those seeds - transforming currently barren lands into life giving ecosystems.
We see the intricacy of this force exaggerated in the complex web of insects - with their short life spans and need to procreate rapidly. Humping underground in the damp dark, in mid-flight, in massive orgies, by excreting their eggs or insect equivalent of sperm underwater to be taken in by the opposite sex. These strategies have formed over millions of years. And have survived multiple cataclysmic events. They are time tested and hard-wired. They are what enable species to bounce back even when their numbers have diminished to near extinction. They exist in hundreds of thousands of varieties, each with their own unique evolutionary eccentricities.
Photo by Christopher Marley
We see the sophistication of this generative genius in the mysterious process of a butterfly turning into itself - a caterpillar eating its way into a morphic cocoon state - imaginal cells melting the previous form and opening the possibility for the formation of a completely different creature to emerge, take flight and sometimes, like with the precious monarch butterflies, fly thousands of miles to a very particular ecosystem where billions of them congregate. This is how powerful their procreative instincts and internal mechanisms are. This is complex technology - the technology of lifeforms on Earth.
Photo by Kenneth Myers
We see this power more subtlety articulated in the faint blush of sporulating mushrooms when the light hits this quiet moment just right. An etheric dusting of mushrooms procreative magic filling the air, traveling through the forest, finding new homes to inoculate and transform. The mycelial mat below the surface, the neural network of the forest, fostering communication - facilitating life and death. The nervous system of the forest ecosystem. The fungi kingdom, largely unknown and only beginning to be fully explored and understood - is in a marriage with the trees and plants above ground. They exchange everything essential for the survival of these complex webs of life. Water, carbon sugars, minerals, amino acids - and messages of safety and peril. They have the power to break down pollutants into safer compounds - even heavy metals and radiation. They live on and flourish and can remain dormant in extremely dry areas - springing back to life with the right conditions. They are procreative masters and planting trees fosters their existence.
Photo by @joycelcy_macro
We witness this profound future-generational compulsion in the rush of salmon, surging upstream against all odds to spawn the future, and then give the gift of their nutrient rich bodies to the forest to be re-cycled into the very water catchments that continue the flow of the rivers of their life-force indefinitely. Feeding bears and birds of prey. Foxes and wolves. Feeding the soil and trees. Feeding the rivers. Their lives live on through creatures great and small and the hearts of Indigenous cultures that bow to their immense contribution to the web of life.
Photo by Chris Bair
The recent restoration of the Elwha River in Washington State's Olympic Peninsula highlights the extreme resiliency en-coded in these internally guided creatures. The unique salmon of these waters have come back home to the very river of their generational lineage. This river had been gone for 100 years. Removed by dams. And then broken free again. And with the return of the flow, very quickly came the return of the salmon. Soak that reality in. That is a miracle. That is an example of the absolutely profound ability for Nature to heal itself and become whole again after prolonged damage. Considering the brevity of the life cycle of salmon, 100 years is many, many generations. And yet with the return of the river, the salmon also returned. This is the intensity and power of their inner compass. Their compass that is aimed at the continuation of life. This compass is the inner core and essence of Nature itself.
Elwa River Photo by Russel Peart
This force is unstoppable. We only have to leverage it. Learn about it. Lean into it. Nourish it and be nourished in return. Respect it. Nature’s essence is reciprocity. Let’s remember our reciprocal nature as well and live in a give-and-receive relationship with the Earth. This indigenous principle is alive within all of our DNA. We all have indigenous roots when we go back far enough, and these roots can be re-awakened. These roots are the pathway towards regeneration and re-integrating with the planet that is our gift of life. Let’s pro-create with the natural systems of the planet by reforesting our world.
Photo by @__j_u_n_g_l_e
All of this procreative life force is powered by a pulsating star at the center of our solar system. Showering the Earth with a stream of photons that are channeled into the enzyme processes of plants and trees to create the base of the food chain above and below the soil. This is the force of life that we have to work with. Literally at our fingertips. We hold the seeds to our future in our hands. We can plant the seeds of restoration together by choosing to actively participate with Nature. Planting a trillion trees triggers trillions upon trillions of life-giving processes that beget more life-giving processes. This is the journey we are on together to re-write our future.
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