The Thoughts Emerging In My Head When Walking Among The Trees

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Walking through a forest is a religious experience more profound than one found in a church. I’ve walked in the cathedrals of Sequoia in the Land Of The Giants, the oldest and tallest living organism on Earth, humbled in their majesty and offered selfless sacrifices in their name. I’ve hung with the Quercus (Oaks), hearing their wisdom whispered through their leaves, feeling the heat of their fires in my core. I’ve grazed the forests for food and shelter, nourished by its fruits and berries, mushrooms and herbs, fish, game, honey, and crystal, clear springs.

Embraced in the forests abundance, there we are connected with what is real, for most of what we encounter in life are machines and ideas constructed by humans. Humans, as it’s been clearly documented, are prone to error. Nature self-regulates and has been trying out new ideas for eons. I trust nature more than I trust humans and the evidence for having such faith is all around us. Our arrogance fools us into thinking we know more than nature does, but imagine a world where humans embrace nature and mimic her instead of competing with or trying to control her.

Would a civilization built on an infrastructure that was in tune with how nature works be sustainable? What would that even look like? One of the keys to life is water and one of the best ways to recycle water is letting nature do it, something it;s been doing since water existed. We currently build wastewater treatment plants to chemically clean water for our needs. What if we designed cities to include forested swales to capture drainage water, filtering it for later use?

Trees, along with reed beds, clean and filter toxic chemicals from water making it drinkable while rendering the toxins insoluble and frozen in the cells of the trees. Nature knows what it’s doing and we should follow her lead.

Planting fruits and vegetable along the swales would provide food abundance for the population, habitat for local fauna, and shelter from weather extremes. Economic activities would produce a variety of products made from the harvest. We could solve any hunger crisis by planting fruiting trees in major cities, feeding everyone who lives there.

Strolling through the Huay Kaew Arboretum in Chiang Mai, Thailand I imagined saving the world one forest at a time and stood in amazement under new-to-me trees, basking in hungry curiosity for this novel biosphere. Most of the trees in these parts are hosts to a wide variety of orchids growing on their trunks. I’ll have to come back when they bloom.

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