A Story to Enact
Another fascinating aspect about the Pando aspen tree is that every tree that shares the same root system will simultaneously change to its gold, orange and green colors as the seasons change. While every tree looks a little bit different, they are all in sync with each other because of shared roots.
For millions of years, it was natural for a people’s story to develop from the earth on which they stood. Legends and myths were borne from the rivers and lakes and mountains and grasslands and the wildlife that were scattered throughout the land. People’s symbolic language rested on the land and animals around them. In the past, a people’s story didn’t typically envision the future, but approached the realities of Nature and life through the lens of familiar symbols. To our global culture, these stories appear superstitious and limited in scope: They were, because these past stories of people were developed for a reality in which it worked; they could not be reconciled with the story of modern society, which does not derive itself from Nature but solely from culture.
Community requires a story, because the story is the moral framework in which all actions are judged. A people’s story is developed from the necessities of their location, and answers why their location preserves these necessities. For example, if fish is the primary food for a community, their story will most likely include the mythology of fish and its relationship to the world and to its people. If the canyons and mountains are essential to the identity of a community, they will include the canyons and the mountains in its mythology as either moral or supernatural authorities.
Whereas the human experience is mortal, the wildlife and the natural environment appears to a community as immortal forces rather than static objects. Moral character is applied to Nature because even as generations pass and people return back to the earth, Nature appears immovable and providing. Nature is thus afforded the properties of godliness that children ascribe to their parents until they realize that their parents are as mortal as the rest of us.