Prelude to a Review of The Overstory…(is that a thing???)

Ancient Groves Nature Trail though old growth forest in the Sol Duc section of Olympic National Park in Washington, United States – This is what Foresters refer to as “The Understory”

I love to read. It is the single greatest skill a human can acquire in my opinion. The books I’ve read have transformed my life, and continue to do so. There is something magic about the transposition of knowledge, sensation, emotion, and longing that happens when a skillful author communicates via a form of ancient, abstract telepathy to the reader.

Some books are better than others. Some tackle subject matter more weighty than others. Some achieve both. The one I’m reading now is on that list.

I’m only one-third of the way through it and it’s already blown my mind. It actually blew my mind in the first couple of pages by a cosmic connection I’d felt relating to something I’d jotted in my notes as I stared out my picture window at the pairs of willow oaks budding up the perpendicular street centered in my view.

I wrote this snippet: 

”Has anyone ever successfully captured the perfect architecture inherent in the design of a tree?”

I was thinking of the perfect marvel of engineered branching and load bearing and surface area distribution and how no human architect has ever attempted building anything like a tree.

Imagine my profound surprise and delight to begin listening to the audible version of The Overstory, by Richard Powers. winner of the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, an incredible story about trees, and how they have impacted and enriched and enthralled and empowered the characters lives. Some of them also received tree messages, so…kinda makes ya think.

 Some of these magnificent spires have been here since the birth of Jesus. Imagine. A thing so ubiquitous as to have become almost invisible. And yet, a thing that we share 25% of our own DNA with, and owe 100% of our lives to. And things without which, there is no anything. No, really.

I’m becoming more and more convinced that humans, though apparently created last, and ostensibly for the purpose of taking care of our orb-shaped space ride on the outer edge of the Milky Way, may in fact have devolved into one of the least intelligent life forms still alive and kicking on our cosmic home.

Trees appear to be smarter. They certainly live longer, cooperate better, are more social, and are more committed to sharing their resources to insure their thriving survival together. Maybe we have a still have a slim chance to change that and we can learn enough to move out of the stupidity basement.

I’ll write more about this amazing book, I’m sure, but I want to heartily recommend it. You will thank me, and trees, if you do choose to read it.

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