03 March 2014


The Earth's oldest, individual clonal tree is called Old Tjikko, in Sweden, at 9,500 years old. There are clonal colonies (as root systems) much older, but this lone trunk, as Old Tjikko, rises up out of its older root system, a living system that has produced myriad, unknown "individual" trunks in the long, continuing past.

Brings up, for me, the meaning of "individual"--as in "individual" life form. Is Old Tjikko really an "individual?" The trunk is a century old; the roots 9.5 centuries. And the hill it lives on?

Is not the soil over the landscape I am viewing out my window, in a very vital sense, a life form? If so, it "contains"--and has contained over the many millennia it has been developing--trillions of dependent life forms growing within/on it. Did not the corn, beans, and tomatoes that I am still winter-consuming come from this life form? And, the birds? And, also, does not the viewing and sensing of this landscape, as humans are wont to do, cognitively/spiritually incorporate me into the overall life form? Thus, are not the soil and plants and wildlife--the soilscape/landscape/farmscape--now part of me and I, if you but think more than just metaphorically, part of it, an autochthonous rising up of Being from the soils of place?

If true, then we are all, as "individuals," a kind of Old Tjikko with continuing, anciently alive roots in the surrounding primeval soils. True, because the anciently stable root systems and primeval soils remain while the myriad "individual" life forms develop and dependently live as they come and go.

And, even so, as they, some life forms, wing themselves to an unknown Elsewhere, like butterflies in a migrating life stage fluttering across the land, yet always dependent on the roots and soils beneath.

And, the hills?

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