Crumbling into green

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In the calm of a common grove, on an island hillside, lessons in growth and retreat abound. Big brown maple leaves, flat and run through with rain, disintegrate further with each day. Trees that fell last year, or five years ago, or many years before that, rot and release their fibres even as bright green shoots jump up from their trunks.

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The rock floor of this island is being broken down, covered over. Slick stepping-stones grow a carpet of green, sprout fronds from their seams. Soil is building up, month by month, slow year after slow year. 

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Glow-moss wrap the fallen trunks in bright green. Hanging moss drip down from branches alive and dead. In this, the wet season, life is lush for lichen. They thread their delicate filaments along hard rock – and, over time, that delicate touch will turn this wood and stone to dust and dirt and grain.

Meanwhile, Douglas Fir and cedar soar. 

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A picture of a grove like this is a still frame in an epically long movie, millions or billions of frames long. When we pause to gather this place in for this one moment, we become briefly aware of a world of never-ending transformation, cycles of life and death that build and fall and rise again.

– in John Dean Park, Vancouver Island, November 2016

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