News & Notes 699:Roots

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699 icon.jpg   News & Notes 699
13 May 2017


“Look into the roots!” Kozma Prutkov (legendary Russian author, 19th century)

In 1968, the territory of Auroville was semi-desert. After the strong rains, Auroville's nearby shore was red: the raining waters brought soil into the ocean. But then Aurovilians planted millions of trees. A green oasis appeared and a great kingdom of roots kept soil in place and stopped erosion. Roots give water and minerals to leaves, they create fertile soil together with innumerable kinds of soil life: worms, microorganisms, etc...

Aurovilians have their own roots too. We cannot usually see the roots of trees and people but we can if we want to. I have a great love for “Two Banyans”: a lot of trees, a lot of oxygen. There Colleen and Jean have cared for this forest for more than forty years. Colleen told me, “My childhood was in Montana, US. My father cared about wildlife, my mother was chief of the Girl Scouts. Trekking, bonfires, tents, it was nice!”

Jean said, “I lived in France, my father was a highly qualified carpenter. Whenever he saw a tree, he could immediately say what kind of furniture could be made from it. My karma has been to grow trees without having a mercantile interest for them. From age 8 to 12, I attended libraries. Every book, I kept for one day only. I only remember general things from books, no details.”

The roots of these two Aurovilians are very different. One comes from America and one from France but they together successfully have grown roots here and care for forest here in Auroville.