Resurrection Plant

I have been searching for metaphors in nature that exemplify how humans should start thinking about their behavior and relationship to their ecosystem. I really liked the image of the Rose of Jericho, or resurrection plant. These plants can survive extreme drought conditions, curling up into dried brown balls until re-activated by sufficient moisture, expanding and blooming into a lush green body once again. Maybe, I thought, humans are like resurrection plants because we are sort of philosophically living like the dried up brown balls — because we haven’t reached our full “green” potential yet (or, we haven’t figured out how to survive sustainably). But the future will be a story about our beautiful resurrection and blooming as we figure out how to build a socioecologically just and sustainable society.

Or maybe it’s the other way around. Maybe we are entering an era when we have to learn to survive the extreme conditions of our climate (that we have created). We were once green and lush, but now we are curling up, turning brown, learning to survive on less resources and consumption than we once had.

I was attracted to this metaphor also in part because there is a species of selaginella (a type of resurrection plant) called “Spikemoss” which is a cool name. Actually, “Resurrection Plant” is a pretty cool name too.

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