This time of year makes me think a lot about trees.  We may be past “peak” autumn beauty and colors here in Colchester (or not).  (I never know how “peak” fall foliage is calculated anyway)!  But there remains some beauty all around.  Just this week I had to tell our dog Hildy to please “sit and stay” to capture a beautiful autumn golden hour scene in front of a tree in our backyard at the parsonage.

In recent years, scientists have discovered more amazing information about trees.  Ecologist Suzanne Simard shared with NPR that trees are social creatures.  Trees communicate with one another.  Simard once observed a Douglas fir that was injured by insects seemingly send some chemical warning signals to a neighboring ponderosa pine.  That pine tree got the word and produced defense enzymes to protect itself against the insect that had already injured their neighbor.* 

I’m going to stop right there and ask us to really consider this event for a moment. 
A Douglas fir sent warning signals to a ponderosa pine nearby to ensure that their neighbor did not also get injured by insects. 
Isn’t that amazing? 
Isn’t it amazing to think that trees are social creatures and that trees literally look out for one another? 

As you look at the trees all around as you drive to work or go to school or come to worship or run some errands, just think about how we are all connected. 
It ends up that trees have lessons to teach us about how to be kinder humans. 
We truly live in a beautiful world.  

Pastor Lauren

Photo by Rev. Lauren L. Ostrout

Thursday Thoughts 10/27/22