Can you imagine our Earth without forests?
Forests produce oxygen, lots of it, so without them would we run out of air to breathe?
Forests provide habitat for birds, insects, animals and most of the world’s diversity of plants.
Forests hold the soil together. Without them the land erodes and lowlands flood, destroying houses, fields, crops, livelihoods and lives.
Forests create rain through transpiration—the passage of water from their leaves to the air, pulled up from the ground via the tree’s roots and vascular system. Without trees lands become barren and deserts are created.
Tropical forests are plant and animal nurseries providing medicines, oils, foods and much, much more.
This is just a short list of what science tells forests do for us. A quick run through the internet will give you plenty more. Forest do a good deal more energetically as The Children of Gaia demonstrates. Only slowly is science beginning to uncover some of these extraordinary things.
Scientist now know that plants are in communication with each other, floating chemical compounds on that air that are picked up by insects and other plants. They have positive and negative charges that change according to whether the flower has nectar or not, which in turn informs the bees. How cool is that! Take a look at German Forester Peter Wohlleben’s wonderful book, The Hidden Life of Trees (Published in English by Black Inc., 2016) for revelations, including how trees ‘look after’ each other and communicate via their root systems and much more.
A tree is a wondrous thing. In the Doruluna chapter of The Children of Gaia, young Khoros is taken on an in-depth tour of the tree, from the outside in, so we get a really easy lesson in a tree’s general structure and how it works from roots to leaves and in between.
Khoros inside a leaf.
‘Suddenly, the passage ended and Khoros shot out into wet, airy space. The elf flew through the air and bounced off a large spongy cell, coming to rest in a tumbled heap. Jathara was laughing, fit to burst.
“It’s a leaf!” Khoros exclaimed. “We’re in a leaf, and look—you’re all green! So am I!”
Jathara nodded, unable to speak from laughing. Khoros looked about. They were in a place of wonderful light: beautiful golden greens, yellows and pinks. Sunbeams rained down through transparent walls filling the air with sound. Above, there were tall straight cells standing on their ends like pillars. Below these were big spongy boulder cells: crazy ballooning shapes in wet, golden air.’
The forests in The Children of Gaia are based on my visits to forests in nine countries. In Costa Rica we slept under a large fig tree to the sound of snakes rustling around us in the dry leaves. I photographed tarantula and poisonous snakes up close. In Poland and Czechosloavakia I saw forests burned from the inside by acid pollution—sights that brought hardy Swedish forester to tears. In New Zealand we visited an ancient forest millions of years old, ‘bush bashing’ with a guide where today there are sedate walking tracks. While a forest might come under a general classification such as temperate, coniferous, tropical dry or rainforest etc, each has it’s own unique feeling just as we humans all have distinctive personalities and differences.
Climate change and its accompanying turbulence has helped to bring home the message that underneath all our clever inventions—both social and technical—sits what we loosely call ‘Nature’. Without the health of the plant kingdom, and the health of the land on which it depends, the air it uses and the water it drinks, neither we nor the animals can survive on Earth. More than this, Ecology has taught us that no aspect of life exists without affecting or being affected by the entire web of life that surrounds it—’surrounds’ in both the smallest and widest sense.
As my communication with the subtle world of deva has improved over the decades, so has the breadth and intensity of the experiences they have given me. Returning for the fifth time to that ancient New Zealand forest in 2016 gave me the most intense experience to date of how deva pervades every space with its hierarchy of interacting intelligence inside and between every single thing that is the forest—a nearly overwhelming Oneness of Light-filled joy.
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