Meaning in Nature

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Look Beyond the Obvious (Part One)

Walking through a forest, you look up to admire the canopy of leaves. Everywhere are leaves opened ike tiny solar panels in a diversity of angles to capture the light. Unseen and hidden is the root structure below. The outward branches always grow in proportion to its roots below. Nature's first lesson is about transcending limited thinking:

You can't plant a large tree in a small pot.

But there is more going on in the root structures of the trees and neighboring plants. Beyond transferring carbon to one another by way of mycelia, trees communicate. Using a fungal internet beneath the earth, they help one another thrive. Larger trees help smaller trees. During attacks by nefarious fungi, plants release chemical signals into the mycelia to warn other plants. The connection is deep and expands in all directions.

Suddenly a flurry of changing light patterns captures your attention. Something is moving through the air in a way that reflects a variety of colors. It looks like a flower, but it is flying and there is no wind. The butterfly lands on a leaf and before laying eggs, it samples the leaf to see if its offspring can eat it. The butterfly is tasting with its feet.

All forces in nature work to keep us grounded and centered. 

Upon closer inspection of the butterfly wing, you see how it is made of a protein structure, like scales that reflect the light into a myriad of colors. The dust observed when a butterfly brushes up against you is actually the tiny scales left behind.

The light and the wings speak in color.

The scales of reptiles evolved to become wings for birds. This was nature's way of allowing for a different type of temperature regulation. Reptiles use rocks to cool down, and sit in the sun to warm up.  Birds are able to control their temperature by using feathers that were once scales.

In that moment of observing the language of color and light, evolution has composed itself in time and space. All that was and all that will be takes flight as the butterfly flutters away.

Those who see butterflies as flying flowers are not that far from the mark. Since butterflies and flowering plants evolved and work together, they certainly have learned alot from each other.  Flowers and insects communicate through an associative language of color, and they help each other thrive.

Certain insects are attracted to certain blossoms by the language of color. 

As you make your way through the forest, you eventually come to the sea. Those lucky enough to have snorkeled during whale season, have heard the way whale song can reverberate through the body. Sound in water travels farther than it does in the air. Both mediums are similar and weather patterns show how they are fundamentally inseparable. The wave and flow is endless.

Mother whales sing lovingly to their babies, while male song has a deeper resonance. Using more percussion, they grunt, click and yes, "whale" to attract females.

Humpback whale songs are cultural messages that spread from one population to another. All males will sing the exact same song, but it will change year by year in dramatic ways. In only 2 years, a song will travel across the entire Pacific ocean. Not all songs are hits. These remixes of new and old sounds circulate until one 'tops the charts' and is adopted by other populations. Dolphins too, call to each other by name. Across the sea, the connection is deep and expands in all directions. 

From the shoreline, you look up to see clouds forming out of thin air. Invisible water vapors condense into visible crystals forming a billowing train that gives shape to the movement of the air. Soon the sun is extinguished beneath the sea.

The night sky blossoms like a lotus pond.

As you make your way home, along the streetlamps lining the waterway, you notice moths fluttering in the light and wonder why? We use the term "like a moth to a flame" to describe a dangerous attraction. The world grows darker and suddenly you wonder if all is right in the world.

Researchers studied two groups of moths over their life cycle. One group was gathered from a city environment of 'light pollution' and another from an urban and darker environment. Those who came from the lineage of light pollution were less attracted to artificial light sources. You are reassured to learn evolution is driving moth survival. 

It is in what you cannot see, that faith takes form in the darkness.

But your wonder stirs again. This group of moths are not flying around as much. This will have a different outcome because moths are nocturnal pollinators. What will become of the less mobile moth who is no longer attracted to the flame? How can you believe in change when you don't really understand it? And then you remember:

I am this tapestry. From below the surface, all that I am takes form.

From the beginning of creation until now, you were always a part of this story. And:

What is made empty is the source of all being.

Just as nature experimented with temperature regulation when dinosaurs evolved into birds, we can only wonder where evolution will lead us, There is no right or wrong when we trust that nature knows exactly what it is doing. Even waste and bacteria serve a purpose in the life cycle. Nature is purposeful and the universe has to remain unknowable. It is its pre-requisite for innovation.

Beyond the observable world, there is much going on that you may never see. If you can learn anything by looking beyond the obvious, it is that you are interwoven into this communicative design that reaches deep and expands in all directions. Your pupil is like a tiny black hole, sucking the entire universe into a static picture in time. 

Just as the fluttering of an insect wing will send tiny ripples across the pond, you are part of life's fabric of interconnectivity. Worrying distorts the fabric in a way that resonates into form. Determining what is real is not as important as how you feel about your journey through life. Whatever it is - it cannot be contained. Let life speak to you in its own way.

In letting go of your need for control
you allow life to happen.

You are the guest, not the host.