When I think of Resilience, lichens nearly always pop up in my mind.
They exist in abundance here, in many fascinating forms.
I feel a peculiar kinship with them.
Their extraordinary symbiosis, this living partnership, half algae/half fungii.
Their ability to exist independently, most lichens taking nothing from their hosts.
Their ‘hold-fast’, anchoring, evolution.
Seeking height and Light.
Their need for fresh, clear, Air.
How they dehydrate, play dead, then spring to Life again at the slightest rise in humidity.
How responsive and sensitive they are to their environment.
There is a strange co-existance of ‘scrap metal recycling and mending motor repairs’ and ‘devotion to Life/Nature and rewilding’ going on here too.
In our male/female, rural, partnership.
On our two, adjacent, plots.
Both just surviving, hanging on, as best we can, deep in this countryside.
As I potter, devoted, in our, increasingly, wild garden, my Peace is often disrupted by engine sounds, the hammering of metal on metal and loud music. Hardly the retreat I’d envisioned!
‘Keep your enemies closer’ I sometimes quip.
But his yard can also be a revelationary habitat all its own.
It is actually considerable work for ‘my mechanical man’ to keep the Nature OUT of his, more industrial zone, here.
Surrounded on all sides by bracken and briar.
He does not use pesticides, the strimmer his preferred weapon of choice. (I prefer a sythe.)
And the truth is I often see beautiful examples of Resilience and ‘nature’s take-over’ in his yard.
The briar rose I planted here, that is slowly re-seeding more widely now, was originally rescued from the tyre tread of one old landrover!
And then, recently, I spotted this Beauty, improbably growing on a customer’s vehicle.
Luckily the owner appreciates it too.
This vehicle had been left standing for a while before he bought it. In France!
This lichen grew on it in another country!!
It did not sound like he is going to purposefully remove it either, rather just observing how it fares, as he uses it locally for his ‘forest’ work.
It looks dry now, but the landrover will be parked outside, not undercover, so is likely to come to life again.
We chatted re-spider’s webs on wing mirrors that have accompanied us on long journeys. (I had a spider that came with us on a 1000 mile round trip from here to Essex once!)
Earth is OK. Nature will triumph in the end.
Our human impact is drastic and concerning, but over all it is our future ability to Balance our future with this planet’s health that obsesses me now.
I experience a kind of Hope in this ‘encounter’.
Something to learn from it.
It inspires emotions similar to the, now often shared, images of humble dandelions growing through concrete.
Of weeds pushing through pavements.
The ‘ghost’ of a previous sticker on the side of his land rover made me smile.
‘ONE LIFE. LIVE IT.’
This lichen must have read it!