Forest Community

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Forest Community 

Disconnected from community 

Indication: Feeling alone and unsupported by those around you. Unwilling or unable to connect with your community. Feeling alienated after a move or the loss of an important family member who helped to define you and your community role.

Forests are not just the sum parts of individual trees. They are intense ecosystems that support and rely on each other in intimate and beneficial ways. Sitting here in the extensive Bob Marshall wilderness in NW Montana, the forest system spreads out for hundreds and even thousands of miles in some directions, changing names, crossing state and international borders, encompassing mountains, valleys, rivers, streams and waterfalls. At the feet of the trees are mosses, indigenous plants and fungi while hawks, woodpeckers, squirrels and chipmunks fill her branches and fox, coyote, bear and mountain lion walk her densely carpeted floors.

The evidence for plant communication is everywhere. Trees can warn each other about insect attacks, as undamaged trees near ones that are infested with bugs “hear” the warning and begin pumping out bug-repelling chemicals to ward off attack. They somehow know what their neighbors are experiencing, and react to it. There are many type of fungi that form underground communication networks between trees in North American forests.

Big old trees — referred to as “mother trees”— are hubs in this network, playing a key role in supporting other trees in the forest, mother trees for instance adjust their competitive behaviour to make room for their own kin and the biggest and oldest trees have the most connections. When a seedling establishes on the forest floor, if it's near one of these mother trees it will link into that network and accesses the wisdom.

Fungal networks don't just operate between related trees, but also between trees of different species in the same native community. Trees growing in the sun have been shown to share sugar with shaded trees. And through their root systems they connect with every other tree for miles.

The Forest Community essence is a “Mother Tree” who takes care of you like she would a sapling baby. Offering protective information and looking out for your best interests. She understands that the whole forest will prove stronger and healthier with more diversity so she encourages your unique development. Nurturing to the newcomer she welcomes you into her fold and helps you to connect to the inner workings and vast networks of your community with grace.

Especially helpful when you are feeling isolated and unsupported or like you just don't fit in. She fosters not only a sense of security and community but also a knowledge of how a healthy society works. This, she teaches, is by creating a beneficial network that honors the whole so that all can live and thrive to their highest possible potential.

We need to leave these legacy trees and let them send their messages into the soil to surrounding plants. Conserving fungal networks that help forests recover from disturbance could also prevent invasions by exotic species, which often compete with the endemic networks.

The statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by Food and Drug Administration. Theses products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All information presented here is not meant as a substitute for or alternative to information from healthcare practitioners.


copyright © 2010 by Merri Walters Great Lakes Sacred Essences