Stunning in their endurance, despite the chain saws and the sewage spills, the mounds of old tires, garbage, plastic bottles that blanket creek banks. Despite the invasive plants: the English Ivy, Privet and Chinaberry trees that were carried here for decoration, for erosion control, literally smothering the natives. The million year plants that have persevered, even resurrected in the living soil of a nearly extinct forest.
The wary coyotes that still patrol their territory. The frogs and herons that find the remaining clear running streams, the almost hidden springs. The watchful resident birds and the migrating warblers who still nest and rest from their long journeys, despite human incursion, degradation and care-lessness.
I have-relearned something about resilience from this moody summer, drowning and baking the land, from this overlooked place. How living things want to live. How a centuries’ old tree, a lucky accident of survival, can generate and sustain new growth. How limbs may flexibly bend and not break, but even when limbs break, life can refashion itself. Gaping holes can shelter magnificent mushrooms. Creek beds can fill up, change course in a single afternoon, whether or not we can bridge over them.