I was outside on a break today and a co-worker motioned to a nearby tree and said, “If that big old tree ever snapped off, it would crush my car.”
It sparked for me one of those moments that cerebral people frequently have where you suddenly find yourself in awe of nature’s magnificence.
The trunks of trees grow thick and strong, which allows them to stand up to the fiercest of winds. On their much thinner branches, they grow leaves, which (among other things) help increase the surface area receiving the brunt of the wind, thus allowing the branches to withstand wind forces much higher than they could stand without the leaves. They lose their leaves in the winter, when strong storms with powerful winds are less likely to occur. By the time storm season returns, the trees have regrown their leaves.
When branches do snap and fall to the ground, they biodegrade quickly into the soil, providing powerful nutrients for the tree to keep growing stronger.
It’s all just such a perfect circle of life, everything working together in flawless precision, every unexpected turn met with botanical preparation.
It almost seems...designed.
Almost. But not quite.
It’s fascinating to realize that the only reason I am even here to contemplate it is because it works.