Hiking through Washington’s Olympic Forest, a rainforest, life is everywhere. It is fascinating to watch the serial changes in the forest simultaneously. That is, every stage of change is visible at once: new growth, strength, decay, rebirth, old age. In all of it, flourishing progress; in all of it, a study of change, everything on the cusp of adaptation.
In all of this richness, the most interesting facet became how the adaptation to change became the strength. From the fallen tree, defeat would not be the way. The change would become the way. Roots would be redirected, the original direction of growth would alter – always growing to the light.
This image recalls the last stanza of Baudelaire’s “The Soul of Wine”, in which the poet gives voice to the aspirations of wine through the vessel of man:
“in you I will die, vegetal ambrosia,
like precious seed of the eternal Sower,
so from our love is born the poetry
to flow toward God like a great, strange flower.”