“Everything in nature called destruction must be creation – a change from beauty to beauty”
John Muir 1869
Little did we know that visiting the Giant Sequoias would teach us such a deep lesson for our life. We just decided to go camping at Yosemite National Park, a stunning granite shrine that seems sculpted in white marble. In addition to the valleys, grasslands and extensive forest of California, Yosemite and Sequoia National Park were the way to an almost spiritual encounter with Mother Nature.
The Giant Sequoias: the oldest and largest living things on the planet.
We camped at Wawona, in Yosemite National Park, close to Mariposa Groove, where there are some of these giant trees, but we decided to drive to Sequoia National Park to see the most impressive ones, like the General Sherman.
It was certainly shocking to find ourselves against the trunk of a tree in which, in proportion, you look and feel like an ant, but what really struck us was to understand the complex ecosystem of these strong and ancient trees.
In an effort to preserve and protect the first National Park in the United States, in the early twentieth century, it was decided to shut down and control natural fires in Yosemite.
The entire forests of the park began to die. Sequoias didn’t reproduce. It wasn’t until the 70s that was decided to adopt one of the Native Americans traditions of making fires if they didn’t occur naturally. The fire burns the litter, renewing the soil and allowing the seeds to reach earth. Old or weak trees fall and die. By submitting their bodies to earth, in addition to passing information and memory as a legacy to young new tree species, these “elders” with their trunks leave a path full of nutrients for new seeds so they can survive and germinate.
Here is where we started to understand the sense of the word resiliency. The giant redwoods are not immune to fire, but their thick bark makes them resistant to it, and what is most impressive is they need fire to reproduce.
Resiliency is the capacity to overcome difficult situations and spring back into shape. Besides being intelligent creatures, interconnected in an invisible underground network, these trees are able to overcome adversity, no matter how difficult it may seem and from those difficult moments, those strong fires they face, they are able to overcome them, and rebuild a life, forest.
Giant Sequoias have been there for thousands of years, they have seen each and every one of our wars and tragedies. They have witnessed natural disasters, and how we overcome them, together, as a connected species.
We were taught in the solemn silence of the forest that, like them, we also need to change, to move forward and overcome tragedies, helping each other, being able to see the change as a transformation and a chance to reborn, to create new opportunities, new ideas, new projects, new versions of oneself. That’s the value of resilience, and we learned it with the Giant Sequoias.
Check around you, there will always be something to learn from nature.
Here, the video of this beautiful and magical experience.
How have you been resilient? Feel free to share with us your experience in the comments.
Thanks for reading. Hope you enjoyed this post.