The name of this blog, Rainbow Juice, is intentional.
The rainbow signifies unity from diversity. It is holistic. The arch suggests the idea of looking at the over-arching concepts: the big picture. To create a rainbow requires air, fire (the sun) and water (raindrops) and us to see it from the earth.
Juice suggests an extract; hence rainbow juice is extracting the elements from the rainbow, translating them and making them accessible to us. Juice also refreshes us and here it symbolises our nutritional quest for understanding, compassion and enlightenment.

Tuesday 28 May 2024

Story Of Awe

This story starts a long, long time ago, in a place far, far away, and involves something very, very small.

How long ago? Up to 100,000 years ago. Homo sapiens was yet to move out of Africa when this story began.

How far away? Think of it this way: if you were to get in a car and drive at a steady 100 km per hour without stopping, it would take you more than 170 years to travel the distance. So, if you left at about the time Charles Dickens was writing some of his classic novels, you would only just be arriving now!

How small? Do this: place your thumb and forefinger together. Imagine the space between. This thing would fit inside that space, with room to spare.

What is it?

A Photon.

150 million km away in the core of our Sun, hydrogen atoms smash into one another in a process known as fusion. In doing so, energy is released in the form of quantum packets of energy. We call these photons, or more commonly as light. Because of the extreme density at the core of the sun, a Photon gets blocked and slowed so that it can take as much as 100,000 years to travel to the surface of the Sun – a distance of slightly less than 700,000 km. (Remember that car travelling at 100 km per hour. It would travel that distance in roughly nine and a half months.)

But, having spent that long, long time getting from the core to the surface of the Sun, this tiny Photon sprints to the Earth in just eight minutes, travelling at the speed of, well – light!

When it gets here, what does this highly energetic, very small Photon do? It lands on leaves in the forest. In those leaves Photon meets a character called Phil, first name – Chloro. Photon and Chlorophyll shake hands. Chlorophyll says to the Photon, ‘I’ll take all your colours, and just reflect back the green.’

Photon replies, ‘Okay, let’s make some energy too.’

And so, the dance of energy continues on. Wow!

From that dance something else emerges, is created, and is released. Oxygen. Literally, the air (along with nitrogen and a small number of other elements) that you and I breathe.

Thus, when I breathe mindfully, I am thanking the Sun, thanking Photon. I say thank you to the leaves of the tree, thank you to Chloro Phil.

Then when I breathe out, the tree in turn says thank you to me, for I am breathing out carbon dioxide, Tree uses this molecule in conjunction with Photon to make glucose and other organic molecules, which are used as Tree’s energy source.

Isn’t that Awesome?

When I enter a forest and stop and look, listen, feel, taste, and smell I know that I am part of this endless cycle that began a long, long time ago, far, far away, and with something very, very small.

But wait. There is more.

I can’t look into the Sun, I can’t see the Chlorophyll in the leaves, and, unless I dig, I can’t see what is beneath my feet in the midst of the forest. But, I can know.

When I sit under a tree amid a forest, directly beneath me there could be a network of 50 km of communications, resource sharing, and warning systems. A Wood Wide World of mycelia.1 Staggering!

Mycelia are fine, thread-like, network of fungal strands that connect trees together. Through this complex and entangled network trees communicate with one another, share resources, nourish the young, and even send out warning signals.

That 50 km is just what is beneath me as I sit. Imagine the extent of this network throughout the entire forest. Marvellous!

When I take the time in a forest to consider all this, with a little knowledge, and my own 5 senses, plus inner senses, I am connected to a network of events that are thousands of years old, that are very, very tiny, and are very big.

This magnificent network is what sustains me (literally) and allows me to write this story here and now.

Isn’t that Awesome?!


1. This excellent video by renowned forest researcher, Suzanne Simard, more fully explains the Wood Wide World and the role of mycelia.

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