Somewhere cold, far back in the middle of nowhere, there was a single tree at the top of a granite ridge.
That tree was at least a hundred years and it was barely to my shoulders, so scarred and gnarled and twisted that it looked more dead than alive.
It held grimly to the ground beneath it, every winter another chance to be uprooted by avalanche or by wind.
Other trees grew together, providing shelter and support.
There are few who can truly stand on their own and their scars are visible, long-lasting reminders of their efforts.
It’s hard to go alone.
In better climates, easier lands, solo living is not so exceptional, so strange and rare.
Here, everything is connected, a fine balance of support and destruction to carve out space and life.
Even a tree that stands alone has a network of life supporting its roots, depends on the death of passing wildlife for its nutrients.
The connections may not always be visible but they are there.
We can see them in the insects flitting from flower to flower.
In the scrub brush forming bulwarks against the wind.
In a single tree, its branches teeming with birds and insects, their sole bulwark against the oncoming storm.
Symbiosis is a difficult, amazing process to watch and understand. I have long been drawn to the various connections around me.
I love including symbiotic relationships of all kinds in my writing. To see more of them, you can read my fantasy novel, The Guests of Honor, over here. Its sequel, With Honor Intact, is now available here.