On the way to the mailbox today, I walked beneath an old oak tree. I know I had noticed the tree before, for I had photographed the thick vines growing up its trunk, but I had not really seen this tree until today.
To see this tree is to understand it has stood for a very, very long time. Exactly how long I cannot say. Homes and families have come and gone since this tree began to grow. I have no idea how long a life this tree has left in it, but I am glad I finally saw it for what it is, if for no other reason than to appreciate what it must have endured to become the giant that shades me as I stand beneath it.
We are all, in some way or another, children of trees. Like our ancestors, we are just as influenced by resource availability as the quality of the information (genetic and otherwise) that we receive. Some of us grow tall and have long lifespans; some do not. But all of us should be proud to know we are the survivors of a long and desperate struggle that began long, long ago.