Magic in the Redwoods

There is magic in the redwoods. In Johnny Outlander I write of the flow of energy and wisdom that Johnny finds in the redwood groves and of the life that radiates from these ancient trees, but there is so much more. We humans believe ourselves so complex in comparison to other life forms. But did you know that the genome of a redwood is ten times larger than that of a human being? Or that a redwood has six sets of chromosomes, compared to only two sets in people? Redwoods, and their inland cousins the giant sequoias, are some of the most complex and astounding life forms on Earth.

The tallest living thing is a redwood. In modern times they have been measured at a height of almost 380 feet, and who knows what the tallest ever was? Our redwoods once ranged from Canada to Southern California but, since 1850, we have cut down 95% of all old growth redwood trees. Only 5% remain.

Redwoods and sequoias are among the oldest of living things. Today there is a redwood we know to be at least 2,520 years old and a giant sequoia that is 3,240 years old. That redwood was a seedling half a millennium BEFORE the birth of Christ, and that sequoia was well over a thousand years old before the advent of the Christian Era. The largest and oldest of the redwoods were cut down over a century ago and who knows what ages they knew, what world history they survived. Much of it would have been before civilization as we know it…in a single tree.

Is it any wonder that the redwoods hold the energy of the Earth and the wisdom of the Universe? The next time you are near one, put the flat of your hands upon its bark or lean your forehead against the redwood trunk. Close your eyes. Breathe. Feel the energy and listen to the wisdom.  These are magical forest giants. Protect them.

When Animals Know You Are a Steward

In answering a recent comment, it occurred to me that the relationship between Stewards and animals needs explaining.  Our human purpose on this planet is to be its Stewards, basically to care for the Earth itself and all the life upon it.  More specifically, our purpose is NOT to exploit and destroy our Earth, our resources, or the animals and plants that share this planet with us.  We are caretakers, not a raiding scourge.

Over millennia, many of us humans, descendants of the original Stewards, have lost our way, forgotten who we are and why we are here.  Enter the animals.  They know and have always known about the Stewards, and even when we lost our way, they did not.  They have always remembered and the animals have always tried to tell us.  Animals seek out Stewards — they recognize Stewardship in us even when we don’t.  When a person realizes — remembers or accepts — that he or she is a Steward, it is like a beacon light that animals recognize.  Not only do our family pets and animal partners bond more closely and communicate more fully, but all animals try to attract our attention.  They want to be heard and we need to hear them.

If you are a Steward, reading Johnny Outlander may well resonate with you.  You may realize or remember your purpose.  And the animals — all animals — will begin to communicate more clearly.  Animals are far wiser than most give them credit for, and have a great deal to say to us.  Our job is to listen.