When trees grow together, nutrients and water can be optimally divided among them all so that each tree can grow into the best tree it can be. If you “help” individual trees by getting rid of their supposed competition, the remaining trees are bereft….When that happens, the forest is no longer a single closed unit. Hot sun and swirling winds can now penetrate to the forest floor and disrupt the moist, cool climate.
—Peter Wohlleben, author, Hidden Life of Trees
Dear Black Mountain Circle Community,
Our seventh Geography of Hope Conference begins next week, focused on finding resilience in nature in perilous times. Like you, each day we see evidence of the perilous times we’re in—especially assaults on our earth environment. We can no longer approach the world with the understanding that we've relied on in the past or continue with the same behaviors and patterns. It is time to consider our actions and interdependence, no matter how uncertain the future is. And it’s time to nurture and gather around sources of resilience and hope.
Peter Wohlleben, author of Hidden Life of Trees—and a Black Mountain Circle Geography of Hope presenter this year—reminds us how nature, and particularly trees, can serve as teachers of survival and interdependence. Besides providing clean air, filtered water, shade, and food, trees also give us hope, insight, and courage to persevere, even in the harshest conditions. They teach us to stay rooted while soaring to great heights. Trees inherently know how to support a healthy and thriving ecosystem, and that the survival of the forest relies on the entire forest community.
Steve and Kamala