We can learn a lot from the ancient redwood forests that grace the California coast. There is a reason they have lived so long and grown so tall, ever reaching for the heavens. We can watch as they receive the life giving water they need from the fog that rolls in from the ocean. It collects on their needles where it drops to the ground and into the roots. This fog drip allows them to survive the long dry periods with no rain.It is what we don’t see that intrigues me, and why I think they survive so long and have the strength to grow so tall: It is hidden beneath the earth in the intertwining of their roots.
You would think that being so tall, their roots would need to extend far beneath them, but they actually only go down about 5 to 6 feet into the ground. Certainly not deep enough to support their great height. It is in reaching for those trees closest to them where they get their real strength. A redwood tree’s root system will stretch up to 100 feet away from the trunk and will intertwine with as many neighboring trees as it can. This interwoven network of roots forms a web of strength to keep the trees upright and helps them withstand high winds and raging floods. They survive and thrive because they are connected. Redwood trees are more likely to fall down when adjacent trees fall because they have lost this powerful support.
We need to be like the redwoods and connect to those around us. We can gain strength and courage from their support to help us grow straight and tall and true, and we can be that strength for others. We are much more careful with our lives when we realize that everything we do vibrates through this network. Truly, there is strength in numbers and in loving your neighbor as yourself.