Our Distance from True Living
Humans and trees share common enemies. We may learn from trees how to deal with our enemies by elucidating appropriate strategies. Trees may live for hundreds of years because they know their friends and how to welcome them and their enemies and how to deal with them. Amazingly, trees can be very selective by producing one chemical that is friendly to one insect, but not another. Trees are the huge manufacturers of chemicals. They do their chemical synthesis under mild conditions and we may learn from them how to produce the complex molecules using simple procedures.
To give one example, trees produce the glucose sugar from photosynthesis. Trees don't have a fuel tank to fill and they rely on storing glucose as an energy source when needed. Trees may transform this sugar to starch and oil. Trees could also use this sugar to produce a host of defensive chemicals. If only trees could talk for how they mastered to produce specific and highly complex molecules such as those chemicals that block the enzymes in the fungi that inflict wood decay. What brains do trees have to allow them to device such smart molecules and defense mechanisms? Even more surprising is that the blocking chemicals must have the right notches to lock in the enzyme. How did trees figure this out?
Trees reveal their secrets sometimes for us to observe and learn from. Trees do what they do for a reason. For example, they produce resins. We may think this is a simple molecule. This assumption is far from truth.
Some bees use the resin to construct their nests. Honey bees use this resin to seal gaps in their hives. Trees produce resin in accordance with their local needs and the resins may therefore differ in their chemical compositions. Humans use the resins for many applications as varnishes, adhesives, therapeutics and many more. Chemicals are atoms arranged in an almost infinite number of ways. Each arrangement may produce a chemical with different properties. How did trees find out which chemical composition and arrangement would do the job it does is unimaginable.
Trees have been a great source of huge number of chemicals. Anti-malaria drugs, analgesics, rubber, oils of all kinds, perfumes and many more are examples of chemicals that we benefit from trees. The tree of chemicals that we get from trees is so well illustrated in this link. Just visit to wonder.
The conflict between trees and their sometimes hostile environment, pathogens, bacteria and fungi represents the conflict we depict in writing our stories. You wish to find how to resolve this conflict in a novel way then trees will be a great inspiration for you. They have met similar challenges and solved them. If only we learn from trees. Trees are a great source for ideas of stories.
Trees represent life and distancing ourselves from them is distancing us from real living. @Irene Hackett commented on my previous buzz by writing "You and I both wish for more "knowing", which I might interpret as more awareness - awareness of our true nature". I believe a journey to a forest will awaken us to this reality.