The Thinking Tree


“Ideas are far more powerful than guns. We don't let our people have guns. Why should we let them have ideas?” ~ Stalin

The Ceiba tree was taller than all the houses and people and animals that surrounded it. Nowadays it's rare to see a tree surviving that height without getting logged. This one did. Maybe because it's located in the middle of a graveyard and nobody wanted to catch a bitter ghost evicted from its trunk into their cupboard or something.

Anyway, a Ceiba tree grows to about 70-90 meters tall. I wondered how old it must be. I thought how the bigger a thing is in size, the longer it takes to grow into that size. Sequoia trees reach bout a hundred meters, and live up to a few thousand years. An elephant lives about seventy. Whales live long too.

Then I thought about the planet and how big and old it is. And of the mountains and the stars and how old they must be. And I remembered a popular hadith that mentioned that the first man was 60 cubits (or 30 meters) in height, and that he lived to about a thousand. And the people of his time lived a long time too.

Then the Deluge came, and God was disappointed in man and cut short their lives down to 120 years or so. Or maybe, because there were only very few people left after the deluge, so they had to inbreed.

Then again, according to the Bible, the Deluge was the last of the total wipeout antics that God did on the planet. If that was so, then everyone left on Earth today are the result of those inbred people!

I thought how, after the deluge, there were more people populating the planet and the harder a fight it was to survive. And the survivors who lived on strained resources gave birth to children with mutated genes. For example, children whose mothers lived on meager diet while carrying them in pregnancy had the tendency to hoard calories and become obese, shortening their life expectancy.

I kept wondering and thinking about a lot of other things. Until finally dusk came and I had to quit staring at the big old tree and go home. Its long old shadow still following me.

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