Despite evidence pointing to the arrival of Christmas, it’s still Fall. And to honor the star of the season—the tree—I’m sharing two insights on life inspired by crazy tree facts.
- Crazy Tree Fact #1: Trees have their own social network underground. With the help of fungi, they share water and nutrients through their root systems. And they even protect each other from threats through warning signals.1
Life Insight #1: Connection is vital to thriving.
Sure, you can survive on your own, but you won’t achieve that level of fullness or purpose that you cultivate in connection with others.
Just like trees, we nurture each other through our human network.
Sometimes this network provides for physical needs. Other times, it’s emotional support. And when danger’s nearby, everyone’s reaching out through all available social platforms to warn and protect.
Neuroanatomist Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor’s uber-popular TED talk on losing function of her brain’s left hemisphere proves existence of a deep human connection. Here’s what she experienced during her stroke:
“We are energy-beings connected to one another through the consciousness of our right hemispheres as one human family. And right here, right now, we are brothers and sisters on this planet, here to make the world a better place.”2
And if we deny that innate connection? Here’s what she has to say:
“Or, I can choose to step into the consciousness of my left hemisphere, where I become a single individual, a solid. Separate from the flow, separate from you.”2
Not very tree-like…
- Crazy Tree Fact #2: Hub trees—the oldest and tallest—are central to the forest’s social network. They generate more sugar than they need, which they share of course. And removing them disrupts the network more than randomly removing other trees.1
Life Insight #2: Everyone needs at least one hub tree.
You can view this two ways by asking two different questions:
1) Who is my hub tree?
This is kind of like Phoebe’s “She’s your lobster!” metaphor on Friends, referring to a lifelong commitment. Your hub tree is that person who nourishes your spirit and without whom, you feel unbalanced.
Give this person all your extra sugar.
2) What is my hub tree?
This is the thing that keeps you grounded. If you remove it, you feel unsettled or “off” in some way. Identifying this hub tree allows you to then keep it as a priority, a non-negotiable part of your life.
We’re already connected through one giant human web—no friend requests necessary. It’s our job to value this inherent network (and our hub trees) and honor our role in it.
So as the glorious fall trees pull you in with their beauty, consider the web of life underneath it all and the lessons their way of life has taught us.
Now doesn’t that make you wanna hug a tree?
Ready to re-connect with other bold souls? Join the family here!
1Leadmon, L. (2018, Aug). How trees secretly talk to each other in the forest [Video file]. Retrieved from https://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/decoder/how-trees-secretly-talk-to-each-other-in-the-forest?source=searchvideo
2Bolte Taylor, J. (2008, Feb). My Stroke of Insight. Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/talks/jill_bolte_taylor_s_powerful_stroke_of_insight/transcript