Sunday, October 09, 2016

Stand Side By Side

I see on the news so much destruction in the world. How odd it is people can't be friendly! These conflicts occur at every level of human civilization; within and between families, tribes, localities, nations, races, and practically every stratum of mortal life. Other animals get along better. Zebras don't fight each other. Bees cooperate. Dolphins love one another in the big oceans.

Recently, I have trekked with friends up in the mountains that rise above Santa Fe. The elevation rises to about 13,000 feet (3960 meters). As the seasons change, so does the landscape. This time of year, our summits have broad swaths of aspen trees that turn a brilliant golden yellow. An entire mountain side can suddenly turn from green to gold. The display lasts a couple weeks and attracts crowds of hikers who amble underneath the gold. Above all is the bluest of blue skies.

Aspen spread roots in the earth and from the roots arise other trees, called clones. The root system is a colony and can live for tens of thousands of years. One tree dies while another is born. Individuals live 40 – 150 years. Aspen support various animal and insect life. I find great peace among them. 

"Joy of Autumn" 24x36 inches, oil on linen

Imagine that human beings all spring from the same root. We are made of the same substance, feed from the same earth and metabolize together in the same way, using the sun as our source of generation along with the elements. We stand side by side, and grow together under the same great cosmos. Why do we turn against one another? There is something to learn from the simple aspen tree.

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