“Sweet are the Uses of Adversity” — William Shakespeare
Today we walked among the revered ancients. The oldest living creatures in the world, the Bristlecone Pine forest outside Bishop, CA. The oldest tree, Methuselah, is over 4600 years old. Because the forest is in an arid region, the dead tree wood is slow to decay and some of the wood is over 11,000 years old.
Standing at ~10,000 feet elevation, these trees are records of climate change and have aided in calibrating carbon dating of objects of historical significance all over the world. They are also twisting, multi-colored creatures of profound beauty. Quiet, steady, and dignified, they thrive because of their adverse conditions. The aridity, the ‘soil’ (which is really rock), the extreme winters, the brutally hot summers—all help the trees live long and prosper.
A good lesson that maybe we all need to find the sweet uses of adversity in our lives.