Trees, Stars, and Water


Perhaps I’ll start you off with a little Haiku. “Trees are like tall withered snowmen, standing silently.” According to experts, there are more trees in our world, than there are stars. Nasa estimates there are about 100 to 400 billion stars in our galaxy. In 2015, scientists estimated there are three trillion trees on earth.

Five fun facts about trees: 1. Trees can help reduce stress. 2. Trees help to improve water quality. 3. Tree rings can predict climate change. 4. Trees never die of old age. 5. Trees are the longest living organism on Earth.

The Apollo 14 mission in 1971 took seeds to the moon to seeĀ  it they would grow differently there. To everyone’s surprise, the trees grew the same way as they do on Earth.

I look out our windows and see the trees providing cover for the flora and fauna. I stand in amazement as I see the eagles perched upon our cedar or pine trees. They sit in a majestic aura that captivates our senses. The wonder of nature is the formula for determining seasons, migratory trends, and the interaction between all that lives in this ecosystem.

The fundamental prize of our senses is to take in this beauty with sight, listening, and the smells of the flowers and trees that dot the landscape. Each sensory experience reduces our stress and brings us closer to being apart of all that we witness.

At night we view the stars in all their magnificence. Each bright pin prick of light helped those that came before us navigate and wax poetic about the vast universe we are but a small part of. Every star you see is bigger and brighter than the sun.

All stars begin from clouds of cold molecular hydrogen that gravitationally collapse. As the cloud collapses, it fragments into many pieces that will go on to form individual stars. The material collects into a ball that continues to collapse under its own gravity until it can ignite nuclear fusion at its core. This initial gas was formed during the Big Bang, and is always about 74% hydrogen and 25% helium. Over time, stars convert some of their hydrogen into helium.

Stars are in perfect balance even though they are in constant conflict with themselves. The collective gravity of all mass of a star is pulling it inward. If there was nothing to stop it, the star would just continue collapsing for millions of years until it became its smallest possible size; maybe as a neutron star. But there is a pressure pushing back against the gravitational collapse of the star: light.

The nuclear fusion at the core of a star generates a tremendous amount of energy. However, putting all of this scientific knowledge aside, the unbridled beauty of a star offers a poetic sense of guidance, hope, and destiny. They can also represent the infinite and unattainable, or alternatively they can represent inspiration.

The connection between the human spirit and the vast, enigmatic cosmos distills a complex emotion and existential questions. This distillation melts into a simple equation that provides a hopeful introspective look into our soul.

This brings us to our last and perhaps most important part of this piece. Water as the life blood of our existence. Interesting that 97% of the water on our planet is salt water. Water is the only substance on earth that is found naturally in three forms: solid, liquid, and gas. More than 90% of the world’s supply of fresh water is located in Antarctica.

A trillion tons of water is evaporated every day by the sun! Another interesting fact is that the earth is a closed system that rarely loses or gains extra matter. Essentially, this means that the same water that existed on earth millions of years ago is still present today.

In relation to our own anatomy, our bodies are 60-70% water. Our brains are 75% water, our lungs are 90% water, and our blood is about 82% water.

As I look out upon our landscape towards the back of our home, I see the spectacle of water. This version is a manmade lake formed from the existence of a dam. It doesn’t make it any less spectacular as its soothing ebbing and flowing represents the viewing and then disappearance of shore land.

Each season promotes this sensory evolution of water. It feeds this ecosystem, enabling the clouds to breech the picture while the creatures enjoy the sustenance that promotes their existence.

As far as our existence, this water feature advances the peaceful nature of our park-like setting into a soothing picture painted by God.