If one were to pose the question of what has been humanity’s most constant companion throughout history, the answer will typically come back as dogs or cats. But it occurred to me the other day that an argument can be made in favor of trees. According to the Wikipedia article, trees have existed on earth in one form or another for 370 million years. And since our earliest days on this planet, we have looked to the trees as sources of much that we need for survival -- food, shelter from the elements, hiding places, building materials, fuel for our fires and much more.
Trees have played such an integral part in our history that they have made their way into our mythologies and folklore. We have used them to symbolize the world we live in and life itself. We have held them sacred. We have worshiped them. Wherever we settle, we preserve and plant trees. Our need for the presence of trees in our lives is so fundamental that it is taken for granted, much as our need for air and water is taken for granted.
I was fortunate enough to see a Pond Cypress tree in Longwood, Florida that was estimated to be around 3,500 years old. Known as The Senator, the tree was destroyed by fire in January of this year. Being in its presence was a humbling reminder that many of the trees around us have been alive for a long time. They and their offspring have witnessed our evolution on this planet. In their own way, they have much to tell us about what it means to keep watch over the world.
So for this Foto-Friday, I give you trees. Trees, parts of trees, reflections of trees – trees in their many magnificent forms.