Friday, April 25, 2008

When Nature helps

Ever wondered, why do the trees seem so barren in the winter? Or why do some trees litter the ground with flowers during summer? It so happens that some trees cannot withstand the winter winds, so they try to stay as barren as possible. This reduces the torque exerted by the wind force on the trunk of the tree, thus saving it from being possibly uprooted. The season of winter also brings in a lot of dryness in the weather with it. This causes the soil to lose its moisture content. The soil which was held together with the moisture, now becomes loose and has a chance of being eroded away with the winds. How does nature prevent the erosion of the fertile top layer of the soil?

Remember the fall season? In the fall season, many trees begin to shed their leaves slowly and become bare by the beginning of winter. Once the winter winds start blowing, these fallen leaves, that have covered the earth, prevent the loose top soil from being eroded, thus protecting its fertility. The soil, which benefits the tree by providing various nutrients, water, etc. is benefited by the act of trees in the winter.

Come spring-time, the trees blossom and bear new leaves and attractive flowers. During the summer, these leaves protect the earth below from getting overheated and provide passers-by a relief from the oppressive heat. By maintaining the shade, the leaves slow-down further loss of moisture. Some trees shed their flowers onto the soil below, thus protecting it from any further erosion. Thus, during summer time too, the soil is protected by the trees in return for the help provided by the soil.

What do we have to learn from this? Is there a lesson in there? Yes, I believe, there is an important lesson to be learnt. Even as the tree fights for its survival (as in the winter), it does so without harming the soil. Instead, it helps the soil survive by shedding leaves. If the top soil is lost, the fertile nutrients are lost. Also, dust flying around causes various health problems to other living species. The trees, therefore not only ensures their survival (by shedding leaves and by protecting the top layer of the soil) but also help the other species by not allowing the top soil to fly around. In their happier times too, (spring and summer) the trees maintain their helping hand. They provide shade, protect the earth from overheating and provide a visual treat in the form of blossoming flowers. Isn't this the very basic form of inclusive growth, where every stakeholder benefits from the other and every stake holder tries to protect the other by helping in every possible form?

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