trees

Trees take care of each other. So should humans

I was up early yesterday and went to Granville Island while the market was still waking up. People were setting up booths and others, like me, were killing time until stuff opened. Walking around I kept thinking I hope you have a good day and your business does well. Not in some fluffy insincere way but in a way that is painful and connected and empathetic. I wanted these people to be okay, to do well.

I couldn’t help but think about how different our world would be if this was how we thought about things. Take care of each other so we can all do well and have decent lives. Don’t we all want everyone to be okay or has the individualism of capitalism crushed that from most of us?

Typing up quotes from The Secret Life of Trees I basically only underlined stuff about how trees help each other. Like humans they are social and live in communities. They take care of each other. And so should we.

Scientists in the Harz mountains in Germany have discovered that this really is a case of interdependence, and most individual trees of the same species growing in the same stand are connected to each other through their root system. It appears that nutrient exchange and helping neighbours in times of need is the rule.
There are advantages to working together. A tree is not a forest. On its own, a tree cannont establish a consistent local climate. It is at the mercy of wind and weather. But together, many trees create and ecosystem that moderates extremes of heat and cold, stores a great deal of water, and generates a great deal of humidity. And in this protected environment, trees can live to be very old. To get to this point, the community must remain intact no matter what. If every tree was looking out only for itself, then quite a few of them would never reach old age.
Every tree, therefor, is valuable to the community and worth keeping around for as long as possible. And that is why even sick individuals are supported and nourished until they recover.
Whoever has an abundance of sugar hands some over; whoever is running short gets some help.
When trees grow together, nutrients and water can be optimally divided among them all so that each tree can grow into the best tree it can be.
A tree can only be as strong as the forest that surrounds it.
Their well-being depends on their community, and when the supposedly feeble trees disappear, the others lose as well.
Even strong trees get sick a lot over the course of their lives.
And because they know this intiuitively, they do not hesitate to help each other out.
One final limitation is an organism’s own genestics: an organism that is too greedy and takes too much without giving anything in return destroys what it needs for life and dies out.
Species that live in social groups don’t entertain this option because every individual belongs to a community that will look after it in times of need, warn it of impending dangers and feed it if it is sick or in distress.

Turning over a leaf

Aw jeez this is super impressive. I turned these around in less than twelve hours. That's gotta be some kind of record.

I am getting back into editing photos and it's been nice. It can also be hard and tedious but that's what happens when you leave stuff for ages. I stopped dealing with photos at some point during my MSc dissertation and never got back to it.

I've been in bad financial/mental shape ever since then and haven't really been up for dealing with it. Doing a couple of weeks of photos is one thing. Going through thousands (and I do mean thousands) of photos is daunting.

There's a part of me that wants things to be complete and orderly. Everything dealt with, in it's place. It's not great for the I was clueless and did this wrong and I'm less clueless now but just doing the best I can, which is probably woefully inadequate of life. I need to let go of this idea of every photo, every file, every this. Bit by bit. Some today. Some later. It gets better bit by bit, not all at once.

Sometimes you just have to lean into that being where you are thing. I also have to make sure to say no to that completeness voice. I am here and this is where things are at. I need to enjoy it and make it work.

I got into macro photography mostly by mistake. I did some flower pics for one reason or another with a low aperture and really enjoyed the blur effect and how they looked. So I kept doing more. There are lots of flowers and little curbside gardens in my neighbourhood so I've been thinking about doing some macro shots of them. It's really hot and bright during the day so it's good for an evening wander.

I have been hunting for a new doctor, which is stressful in general but extra for me because doctors make me super anxious. I hope this one works out. I spent far too long trying to find somewhere I could go and then decided to go to the woods because I was feeling super edgy. As they say the trees will heal you.

The trees will heal you

It's nice being so close to Pacific Spirit Regional Park — though I wish I was a bit closer. It's a nice forest and good for wanders. There are some things I find unpleasant about this community like the single-family homes and the drab suburbanism but it can also be nice. The Dunbar high street is cosy — and could easily be extended all the way along the road via good zoning — and I decided to go for ice cream after my wanders. My days here are numbered so I really need to do my best to get what I can out of being in this neck of the woods.