Friday, September 18, 2020
Thursday, September 17, 2020
Wednesday, September 16, 2020
Tuesday, September 15, 2020
What if I told you the Douglas Fir, in the moments before it dies, releases all the nutrients stored up in its trunk back into the ground as a gift to the soil? Or that trees of different types will have root systems that interconnect in a forest? Or that trees communicate to each other and warn of predators?
They are truly remarkable creations. In Richard Powers' The Overstory, each page is filled with new marvels of trees. Objects that so often fade into the background of our lives are brought to center stage, and they star. At one point, two people stay twenty stories up in a redwood, discovering salamanders and a 6-foot tree thriving in this separate ecosystem. What wonders God hath wrought!
The Overstory is one that I couldn't put down. It's the story of disparate individuals that eventually come together, united by the trees in their lives and a struggle to care for the treasures of creation that are being wasted. The reader is reminded that many trees count centuries in the way we count decades, and many will be around long after us. They contribute countless riches to the environment, and we would be wise to be good stewards of the trees and the forests in which they dwell.
It's very easy to think of things in this world as disposable. With this mindset, it's easy to be a consumer. With a consumer mindset, I think of the world's resources as objects to support me. I don't always think of how I give back to the world. It's not a big leap to see other people through this lens, and to avoid appropriately caring for people.
God certainly calls us to be good stewards of creation. In caring for our children, it's also important to think about the world we're going to leave them. The Overstory calls me to stop and appreciate the beauty of the trees that I see, and in doing so, makes think about how my life is contributing to the richness of all of creation. It's a book that asks difficult questions and makes me think, which I deeply appreciate.