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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

A PLANT ON A ROCK IN THE RIVER


A PLANT ON A ROCK IN THE RIVER
Several years ago, while on a fly-fishing trip with my friend Frog, I came across a plant on a rock in the river.  If I was catching fish and not sitting on the river bank trying to untangle my rat’s nest of a line I would not have even noticed the plant on a rock in the river.  I intended to take a picture of it, but I was afraid of dropping my camera/phone in the river.  It looked much like the picture above only even smaller and more pitiful.

The plant on the rock in the river caused me to wax philosophically.  

How did it get there?  Did a blob of mud just happen to stick to the rock?  Did a seed float in the breeze and just happen to land and stick in that blob of mud?  The river was at a seasonal low point.  It would just be a matter of time before a rainfall would cause the water to rise and the plant on the rock in the river would wash away.

What was the purpose of the plant on a rock in the river?  It was a seed which miraculously found a nitch in which to grow into a plant that had no chance of survival.  

Somehow it spoke to me.

It spoke to the fragility of life.  It demonstrated how even a tiny seed could fight for life, would cling to a tiny slab of mud and fight to grow and perhaps reproduce.  Its roots were blocked by solid rock less than an inch below the slab of mud.  A river raged just inches away from pulling the slab of mud and the plant into its watery demise.

My struggle with untangling my line was so infinitesimal compared to that plants fight to exist. 

When times get rough, when life seems hard, I think of that plant on a rock in the river.  The water will inevitably rise, but that is not an excuse for not clinging to the slab of mud stuck to the rock.  Who really knows when the rain will come?  Who knows if the plant might just hang in long enough to flower and to have its seeds pollinated and scattered in the wind to land on another slab of mud and continue the species? 

Why does the plant cling to the mud on the rock in the river? 

Because it can. 

Because it must.    

16 comments:

  1. That's life. It's a miracle that we're here in the first place and that we survive for a period of time (some have it much harder than others), but we will ALL some day die. Don't fear it. To fear it will just ruin the time that we have. Just accept it.

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  2. Did you ever get the line untangled? Or, tell your friend, sorry, I can't join you, I'm waxing philosophical.?

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  3. deep thoughts by mr. cranky. (instead of jack handy)

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  4. The Metolious river in central Oregon has many such things, some have become islands over time. The reason they survive is the river springs nearly full-sized out of the side of a small mountain, and rarely floods.

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  5. That's probably why I can't enjoy nature. I don't stop and think about those things! I think it's in the nature of all beings (plant and animal) to fight for survival instinctively, so this is perhaps a biological need for that plant.

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  6. I think we all fight for survival one way or another. It's what we do. Loved this look at survival.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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  7. Is that anything like being a bump on a log?

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  8. There is a tree stump in the river around here that grows "hair" when the conditions are right.

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  9. This post reminds me of something I read long ago, the first chapter in Michener's "Hawaii." He describes how volcanic rock rose from the ocean and how undigested seeds from bird waste sprung into lush vegitation. Nature is incredible and, like you, I'm awestruck by it all.

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  10. I have seen similar things. Plants on rocks, trees growing out of stone and I usually have very similar thoughts. Good post.

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  11. All of nature seems to have a spirit to survive. I notice the big trees that are growing out of sheer rock, They found just the right speck of dirt where they can develop strong roots.

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  12. What is it the guy in the movie Jurassic Park said?

    "Life will find a way."

    That's why.

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  13. If I was fishing, I would have snagged my hook in that plant. Its true purpose thus revealed, I would not have waxed philosophical.

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  14. Much like those small oddly shaped windblown trees that cling to a crevice in a cliff face.

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  15. Here's a deep thought: If you eat strawberries just at the point they are about to turn moldy, and then you become constipated, do you then eventually poop moldy berries?

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  16. Like Bill Bryson says in his book about the natural world: "Life just wants to be, and it doesn't want to be much."

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