The first question for Grandmother Cottonwood

January 10, 2015

Q. From S of eastern Nebraska: Why all the white stuff? (by which he means cottonwood seed fluff released in the springtime)

A. I might as well ask you, why all the zillions of sperm and billions of eggs? Why all the children? How would you answer that?

The white stuff, smart aleck, carries deep love, hope for the future and viable seeds that will perpetuate my kind on this magnificent planet. Believe me, I don’t worry about your window screens or pool filters as I allow my seeds to burst forth. This is who I am! This is what I have been and where I’ve come from! I am by all descriptions a giant among the trees, yet I began from a tiny windblown seed embedded in what you call “white stuff”. I am a miracle! Nothing can hold my seeds back. My beautiful seeds float effortlessly on the wind held aloft by the “white stuff”. As my seeds grow, I witness the transformation from fragile seedling to young sapling to magnificent giant, leaves shimmering in the summer breeze. I am very proud of my offspring! This is the longing of life for itself, the knowledge that this earth is our home, that we belong here, and that life is good! We have re-enacted this cycle for millennia and will continue, so get used to the white stuff!

Make a nice pillow with the extra fluff and dream of me as you sleep on it, or take it down to the nearest creek and let it float with the current. Next spring, you may see an entire stand of young cottonwoods on the nearest sandbar. Perhaps they will speak to you.

I wish for you to know above all else that life on this planet is good! Dig your roots deep into the soil and live fully.

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