Beautiful Life & Death on the Forest Floor

The Forest Floor from BBC Motion Gallery on Vimeo.

While watching the most exquisite mushroom develop in slow motion in the video above, I thought about this: How is the forest floor like our own body? A lot alike, I think. We share similar self-sustaining cycles of growth and death. Without our conscious awareness, our body maintains and repairs itself; old cells die, and are replaced by new ones, so that the body you are in now is not the same body you were in seven years ago. (No wonder we have trouble remembering things.) Bones, skin, blood, all are constantly renewing themselves. Friendly bacteria live on us and in us, just as on the forest floor, where magnificent, varied funghi and microorganisms transform once-living creatures into new life.

Luckily we don’t have to think about how our bodies circulate our blood and breathe in and out, it’s automatic. And as we go about our human business, forests (and even gardens, and vacant lots) all over the planet are re-circulating energy, breathing, growing, renewing and harbouring life, both plant and animal. The dance of growth is an absolutely splendid thing. And we are all in it together.

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