How much less rich our world would be if the human species were bereft of old people. If, by the time aches and pains give way to ill health and disease, we were deemed no longer commercially viable, not worth the expense of maintaining to the end of our natural days; eliminated to make more room for the newborn. All the experience and wisdom that can only be accumulated through time, gone, one human leaving a space three others fight to fill.
In the world of trees, few elders remain. This week we had the honor of walking through a patch of old growth forest, a remnant set aside nearly a century ago as an example of what was. The US government hung a “Do Not Disturb” sign around 3800 acres and called it a day. The ground is thick with wildflowers. A shaded understory waits patiently for the old trees to die a natural death. Moss-covered trunks, brought down by violent storms of years past, crisscross the landscape, hosting – within the decay - more species of life than we can even imagine. One hundred miles and more we traveled to find this place. Around the time this patch of woodland was being saved, a similar old growth forest right here in the Jocassee Gorges was cut, brought down by timber companies looking to keep pace with profits from a bygone era. ~K