The Feel Good Idea Of The Day: Pressure and Transformation

The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.
— John Muir

Close up of petrified wood piece, Oakland Museum of California.

Petrified wood log, Oakland Museum of California.

Wood is quite elegant. Walking in the woods and seeing a downed log that is decomposed, it is easy to see the elegant way it transforms. Stepping or kicking a downed log can break it open, revealing a puzzle of wood chips. Nature has its order and it is wiser than I can imagine.

If a log is buried by earth and put under pressure it can transform into something amazing: petrified wood. Petrified wood is a fossil.

Petrified wood is a fossil. It forms when plant material is buried by sediment and protected from decay by oxygen and organisms. Then, groundwater rich in dissolved solids flows through the sediment replacing the original plant material with silica, calcite, pyrite or another inorganic material such as opal. The result is a fossil of the original woody material that often exhibits preserved details of the bark, wood and cellular structures.

I find it profound, the transformation that is possible under pressure. In times of intense growth, we are like the tree that is buried; and our insides are replaced with a new substance that preserves us. Changes us. In times of transformation we may feel a need to retreat, in essence: be buried and go down into the deep. The weight and the heaviness lends speed to our transformation, the desire for air, a pressure to reveal oneself again--bright, bold, anew. 

Pressure has its gains. Pressure can extract that which no longer serves and unearth a new way of being.