I took the train home, from Denver to Glenwood Springs, one of the most beautiful train rides you can take in the United States. This time of year there are wildflowers blooming alongside of the train tracks. There are also plants in unlikely places: growing directly in the side of cliff. Sometimes, a little wildflower is there, and sometimes, it is a tree that’s been there alone for decades.
Perhaps it is an adaptation to grow in an inhospitable place where hardly anything can grow. Perhaps it is an act of rebellion, the plant growing in a place that it shouldn’t. Perhaps this works for the plant’s own benefit but also for the benefit of future generations of plants – as it grows there, it loosens up the rock just a little bit so the next seed that comes along may be able to take root there too. When it dies, perhaps some of it stays behind to nurture the next generation. But there always has to be a first before there is a forest.