Trees are very social beings, and they help each other out. But that is not sufficient for successful survival in the forest ecosystem. Every species of tree tries to procure more space for itself, to optimize its performance , and, in this way, to crowd out other species. After the fight for light, it is the fight for water that finally decides who wins. Tree roots are very good at tapping into damp ground and growing fine hairs to increase their surface area so that they can suck up as much water as possible. Under normal circumstances , that is sufficient, but more is always better. And that is why, for millions of years, trees have paired up with fungi.
Crows may prefer drink to smoke. Jay Bennett lived with a drinking crow in the 1970s near Tacoma, Washington. Jay’s pet made a habit of eating fermenting cherries from the backyard. The more the crow ate, the drunker it got. The drunk bird staggered, called wildly, and flew. Jay’s son Chris vividly remembers the erratic swooping, twisting flight of the drunken crow. Wild birds also drink. On Pender Island, British Columbia, ravens steal full beer cans, pierce them open, and guzzle the brew. Alaskan ravens may drink to stay warm and alert on cold mornings. They are quick to grab a discarded coffee cup, especially those bearing the Raven’s Brew logo. The powerful bird carefully, even gently, grips the rim of the cup and tilts it back so the stimulating brew drains efficiently into its expectant maw.
But the story tells us that when we go looking for vision, when we hold a subtle ear for holy unfolding, she just may appear. She is not comfortable, and many of those who have received her visioning have not been the most benign of characters or led the easiest of lives.
A goddess of moonlight has a subtle, nuanced texture, no longer the bright, single-imaged, mono-infused TV commercial. She gives him the vision, sure, but does she tell him the way? That is for him to find. To follow moonlight is a commitment to waning, waxing, and fullness, to a path of silvery movement, to uncertain steps of utter faith when the only sound is the death hoot of the owl. Moonlight is reflected sunlight and, so, far less visible than the indelicate strut of the sun blazing all before it. So, for Brutus, to find this kingdom is to take lunar steps: to stay active, certainly, but sensitive to more than just the brilliant aggression of youth.
The failure to notice that reality is inherently dynamic and interrelated at all levels — including substance and functioning — has caused a vast range of suffering: our medical system designed treatments as if our bodies were biomachines with independently functioning parts; our education systems regarded students as essentially isolate units into which learning can be implanted; our psychologists authoritatively conveyed to patients the Freudian notion that departing from core family relationships is the key to healthy maturation; and our workplaces and dwellings were designed with no inkling of the relationship between human health and natural light. Moreover, our communities have become fragmented and alienating, as the focus of modern life has largely contracted to the sphere of the Individual Consumer, a disintegration that has not been countered by support for the social fabric. Even more tragically, the entire planet is now imperiled by climate destabilization and ecological degradation, resulting from the modern assumptions that highly advanced societies could throw toxic substances “away” somewhere and could exude staggeringly unnatural levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into our atmosphere without ill effect.
Picture found here.