I lived many years under a magnificent, seven decades old White Pine on the edge of Niagara Escarpment. It grew fast, planted in the rich soil next to my neighbour's house. I loved it as well as I feared it; what grows fast comes down even faster. One day of solid wind, countless of them went down in Dundas Valley and our village. My house was spared.
Can one develop a meaningful relationship with plant life?
In the “wild,” shaped by the winds or rock formations, a pine grows slowly, with its core spine formed to take it all in. Tough as the bedrock, it has to grasp and hold on to, enduring whatever comes its way. The measure of time is quite different, and it's written into the cores of every being out there. A pine is a shelter one can put trust in.
So do I, and a place for lunch, midday nap or mapping out connections and reasons for everything I see around.
I prefer to camp around one pine tree that might appear as a pine grove. Growing in harsh conditions, supported by a slim patch of mosses, Pinus strobus sidling can spread its brunches over the ground, bracing itself before they grow upwards. One tree can colonize the lake’s small island, creating a living environment for itself while hosting other plant species. The intertwining pine needles form a carpet bracing the bedrock, forming biomass as a foothold for other plants to follow. It could also defend its foothold quite vigorously.