Suddenly I see trees everywhere I look. In groups, in rows, alone. There is one at the entrance to the Forum, too – a dead one. I also notice how people bark up the wrong tree, some get to the top of the tree, and a few are simply out of their tree. Nowadays I observe extremely selectively, and trees jump out at me all over the place.
At a lecture about learning from nature, someone explained that young trees only start growing when the old ones in the climax vegetation have died. Then it is the turn of the next generation: the young trees compete for light, space, water, and they all want to fill the gap left behind by ‘mother’. That idea hit home. My mother died a year ago. She was the last old tree. So it is only natural that I compete with my brothers and sisters for light and space. Fortunately we have reached a new balance, formed a new climax community.
I am not about to embrace nature as a new religion, but I was impressed. I am not so very different to trees. A banana tree and a cabbage have 50 percent of the same DNA as me. I share 60 percent with goldfish and 97 percent with apes. Not such a crazy idea to learn from nature.
But what about that tree in front of the Forum. It was sawn through but then grew three new branches. Do they symbolize something? The Trias Politica or the Golden Triangle? Or the triumvirate Thijs, Martin and Louise? It reminds me of the story of the three farmers in a field. A field with a tree. The conventional farmer says: ‘It’s in the way when I am ploughing!’ The organic farmer says: ‘I’ll leave it because it has an ecological function.’ The organic-dynamic farmer says: ‘For me a tree is a beautiful gesture to heaven, especially in winter.’