My other half

My other half:
My other half completes me in so many ways. He shared this quote with me and has lived it in our almost 23 years of married life.

"With every encounter, make it your aim, that people are better off for having been in your presence." - Charles Swindoll

Nature of relationships:
National Geographic recently ran a wonderful two page mini-article (Vol 23, No. 6), Talking Trees. Research validates again and again that, "Beneath a patch of forest soil lies a vast interconnected web of life." Tall, mature trees - in our area they might be Douglas Fir or Ponderosa Pine - reach high above the forest canopy for sunlight. Through photosynthesis, they end up with reserves of sugar beyond what they need.

Those stores are shared with fungi that lack sugar. In exchange the fungi feed the roots of these grandparent trees with nutrients that the fungi get from the soil.

Baby trees are fed and nurtured through this same network. Baby offspring of a mature tree receive its preferential care and nourishment.

So when we take a walk in the woods, we're actually seeing an interconnected web of life. These webs span something like 180 feet by 100 feet and more. A forest with healthy elder trees becomes more resilient to stressors, like pests and changes. 

How we manage our forests affects whether the trees in our forests have healthy or stressed relationships. If trees are clear cut there is no web of life. If strong mature trees are selectively removed, remaining trees send chemical signals of stress that trigger defense responses, through the same network. Too much stress burdens well-being and creates devitalization through the whole web.

Creating sustainable forests is the mission of our local group, Lomakatsi. Theirs has become a recognized model worldwide of promoting healthy relationships of our forests through stewardship. They too form vast beneficial partnerships across local, state and global private and organizational efforts. It is a privilege to support their work. 

Take Away:
Remember a moment of true connection. It might be a memory in nature. Sense the wholeness that you are part of. An innate sense of being connected with all that is -  that can never be taken from you. Live in that sense that connects you with everything else -  moments at a time, all day long. Each day. Feel that you are interacting with your life from that place a little each day.

Let the stress of past lost connections gradually be nourished by vital new connections, within you and around you, rooted in strength and goodness. Tend to your well-being as you tend to that of others. Stand your ground. We need each other.

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