More Excerpts from my Writing: Trees and Order

 A few miles past the arboretum, close to the Devil’s tombstone and behind a church stands an old rugged cross carved out of a dead tree. Is the tree – this living beautiful thing that God has created – a metaphor for the cross? It is hard for me not to see God’s work in a tree once one has experienced an intimate sense of its intricate design. One notes the roots that draw the nutrients from the ground through the strong yet living trunk pushing up toward the sun in defiance of gravity. The roots actively seek water, and pump the water against gravity up this column of cells in little highly specialized veins to feed the leaves. Not only do these leaves need water, but they also need protein created from the nitrogen that arrives by nitrogen fixing bacteria living in the soil of their roots. Protein is in turn required for the fixation of carbon dioxide from the air using energy derived from light from the sun. The carbon harvested on the leaves through photosynthesis allows the tree to grow, pollinate, and ultimately produce fruit if it is fruit-bearing. Pollination to produce fruit occurs when the highly specialized stamen of the tree transfer their pollen to the highly specialized pistil through the wind, rain, moths, butterflies, birds, or honeybeesi. The fruit, if a nut, may be harvested by a squirrel, and hidden in the ground some distance from the tree, where if forgotten in a location with enough sunlight, water, and nutrients in the soil, will proceed to grow into another tree the next spring. It seems improbable statistically, although not impossible, that the multiple simultaneous highly dependent relationships intrinsic to the tree’s survival in such a system would not involve a design larger than the tree. This design must not only envision the survival of the tree, but also provide for it. The tree is not God, but it is part of a universe that strives desperately to both harness energy in its individual elements, and to hold everything together. Of course, without the tree, animals could not breathe. One hectare of a rainforest (2.47 acres) may contain over 750 types of trees and 1500 species of higher plants. There are estimates that we are losing 137 plant, animal and insect species every single day due to rainforest deforestationii.

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