Nature as Metaphor

Nature Metaphors        With appreciation to Peter Wohleben, Brodie and my Samsung phone


Nature by its existence can help us understand a bit of we are on this earth as plants, trees, bushes, grasses stretch toward the light for life, basking in its nourishment.

Look into the forest/bush.  The variety, the confusion the mishmash of nature, the dead and the living all there to reveal the world we live in with all its confusion, variety, differences and challenges bursting with life as we all stretch toward the light.

We see plants stretch toward the light and when they are placed differently, turn themselves to once again find the light.

We see huckleberry bushes or hemlocks sprout from old cedar stumps.  There is a story about an old man who explained to his upset sons why he built a tower on some revered ancient ruins. He said, ” So I can see the sea.”  The old cedar stumps may offer a leg up to the light for the huckleberry bushes and the young hemlocks.



And so many trees as they stretch have divested themselves of unnecessary baggage just as we as we develop divest of unnecessary baggage or prune unused neurons or get rid of stuff we no long use in order to concentrate on our priorities.  Peter Wohleben calls them smart trees.

Look at the smart trees in my own backyard, planning for the future and divesting themselves of the extraneous.

This tree is caught in the should I/shouldn’t I conflict between fully letting go of baggage and freeing itself to reach the light unencumbered.  And what does it get from it? Parasites leaching away precious energy.



So often I see the twisted tree, which had a struggle finding the light, but kept on reaching, stretching, bending itself until it was able to find a portal to the light.

Interesting that from another angle this tree looks almost unchallenged or deformed or showing any disability, able to hide the fact that the twist is there on its other side.  Or maybe this is about perspective regarding disability vs neuro-diversity?


This conifer with no real competition at the edge of the meadow can afford to keep all of it luxurious branches because it has no competition for the light.  Peter Wohleben would call it a stupid tree nonetheless – vain, flaunting its young beauty, careless of preparing for a future.

Tall, straight, healthy young trees like young people with a secure start in life, carefully guided into a stable future

And then there is that smart–ass brash pine tree with its little straight up new shoots looking like its giving the finger to the fir, cedars, spruce and deciduous trees surrounding it.  It is all alone in this rain forest.


Sly Scotch Broom has run rampant because it beguiles us with the flower, a splash of yellow on the side of the dusty, dull green road.

Have these Star flowers circled like the wagon trains of old for protection or to keep strangers away from their land?

Brodie doesn’t seem aware that shit rolls down hill


Accepting life on life’s terms