The Roots of Our Interdependence

July 4, 2013 Leave a comment
red wood

|Photo by Dave F|http://www.flickr.com/photos/92163630@N00/4025069261/in/photolist-78FwRT-7eEdPY-7rjYoy-7uNgmF-7vfzgW-7S6HqS-ahxM9M-bLxMq2-bLxG9H-bxD6L3-bxD6gw-bLxFGB-bwN9uq-8kt9LS-cTQhiL-bxD1Cb-acnUyb-ack4wz-9Hw99M-8JYow6-8V696G-7Zduf2-dKgycj-9C6fhQ-9HyZKY-bvGe6y-98DdGq-8sEggt-drjdQF-acnRFq-acnRBf-ack1tM-ack1DR-ack1Ag-acnRM3-acnRRY-ack1Qx-acnRrw-acnRP9-aBxDYM-bLxKtB-bLxK5c-bxD3eE-aoY5QL-aD4XFc-ctuFgG-ctuJyu-ctuFK3-ctuGww-ctuJDE-ctuFM3|

I recently was reminded of a truth about resilience.  It came in the form of a story told by someone about the root system of red wood trees.  These giant and venerable beings, some standing as high as 350 feet and as old as 1000 years, are not so deeply rooted in the soil.  Their roots tend to only go to a depth of about 4 to 5 feet, which is extraordinary when you consider how far up they reach.  So how do red woods remain vertical amidst storms and the ravages of time?  The answer is that they reach out to one another.  Below the surface, they stretch their roots out horizontally where they become entwined with those of their neighbors.  This becomes the source of the forest’s strength – vast networks of interconnections.

On a day when we like to focus on independence, I like how this story reminds us of the extent to which our ability to survive and flourish is caught up in our common roots and interrelationships.

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