ORIENTED TO LIFE
Yesterday morning Larry and I were sitting in the waiting room of his dentist’s office and there was a television screen playing.
Usually, I don’t pay attention to televisions in doctor’s offices because they often are just advertising drugs, so I picked up a magazine instead.
But within a few minutes, Larry said, “Look at the TV.”
I looked up and saw a beautiful picture of what looked like a dried flower ball, rolling along like a tumbleweed, releasing its seeds. Then there were seeds with wings flying through the air and seeds in flowers that bloom at night so bats can come spread the seeds during the coolest part of the day in the desert.
Another segment was about how plants spread their seeds to make the next generation of plants by dropping ripe fruits that attract birds and other animals. As the animals eat the fruit they also eat the seeds and then poop them out elsewhere, complete with a nice pile of fertilizer. The comment was made that it was advantageous for the survival of the plant to make their fruit as attractive as possible to the widest number of available animals, to have a variety of carriers of seed to various locations.
As I’m watching all this my mind is clicking away considering how I can take these survival patterns from plants and apply them in my life to my survival advantage.
Then they showed how mangrove trees, which I saw many of in Florida, can survive well in saltwater because they have developed a process to collect the salt in their leaves and when the leaves drop, the salt is returned to the water.
And then they showed a certain plant and said something like “the survival strategy of this tree developed…” Survival strategy? SURVIVAL STRATEGY?
Wait a minute. Survival stragegy? Apparently plants and animals develop form and function to create optimum survival in their habitat, Like this particular plant, if I am remembering correctly, has leaves that are specifically shaped to capture tiny droplets of water from fog and combined them into a larger drop that run down the length of the leaf into a big barrel trunk that stores water!
But we humans in industrial society don’t do this. I’m thinking pre-industrial humans did this, but even I, who has been immersed in this subject for more than thirty years have never thought of having a survival strategy.
Like what is my strategy to survive? And beyond that, what is my strategy to flourish and thrive? I’m already doing pretty well. At age 64 I’ve outlived my mother, who died at age 51, and my little brother who died at age 58. But how long could I live and how healthy could I be if I had the same degree of survival strategy that plants and animals have?
For the 24 hours prior to seeing this television show, I had been working on writing about spirit, mind and body as the three component parts of life (coming soon).
The narrator was commenting on how the “tree” had a survival strategy, but I know enough about Life now to know that the component part of the tree that is doing all this survival strategy and beautiful, functional design is the Spirit of Life. It’s a spirit function to have the impulse to survive and figure out HOW to survive in any environment.
This spiritual function is present in all plants and animals and humans. Plants and animals don’t have the free will we have as humans so they follow their spiritual instructions, but we have the choice to go our own way. Apparently we humans each have to choose our spiritual impulse to survive.
I’m going to be writing a lot more about this in the near future. It’s coming soon. Today I just wanted to share my experience of discovering the concept of “survival strategy.”
Writing this post about seeds reminded me that even as autumn leaves are falling, they are actually returning nutrients to the soil and releasing the seeds that will bring new plants in the spring. The abundant harvest of the season allows us to stock up on nutrient reserves to carry us through the winter when ecosystems are in a state of rest and renewal. So autumn is not only about death but about carrying life forward to the next go-round. Life doesn’t end, it just changes form.