Beneath the damp forest floor, coast redwoods exchange nutrients with each other. To reach great heights, they depend on root systems that interlock with their neighbours to stabilize against winds, floods, and earthquakes, allowing them to live over 2000 years. By working together, coast redwoods grow old and tall.
I loved the bulbous burls on the Redwoods – gnarled masses of tissue that serve to store the genetic code of the tree. When under stress, the tree can tap into the burl to sprout new growth. I liken burls to cherished friends – people you can list on your emergency form (thanks Steve!).
When amongst these trees, there is a visceral and fundamental sensation that overcomes you – like a light mist that creeps through a forest — that whispers of strength, wisdom, and eternity. I felt both insignificant and one with the earth. I most loved the grace of the trees — the twirl, twist, and depth of their bark spoke to their histories — of outlasting wind and storms. Scars make one formidable.
These trees are a wonderful reminder of how we need friends and community, as we draw strength and inspiration from one another, and that we too need each other to grow old.