Have you heard of the Liana Vine?
Some of you may know it as the vine that Tarzan swings upon. It is a really interesting part of the rainforest ecosystem and architecture. It roots at the ground level with a flexible bark like trunk and uses the trees around it so that it can grow towards the light. It grows rapidly and often up to lengths of 3000 feet. As it reaches the top, it keeps seeking the light, so as it grows it creates bridges between the trees it creates a path for animals to cross the forest. The Liana Vine creates a barrier of protection for the weaker trees underneath it, preventing damage from winds and storms. Although it takes nothing from the trees it uses as support to find the light, at the root level it competes for water and nutrients from the soil. This can often be detrimental to the trees around them, often killing them and decreasing their fruit production. It is a delicate balance that the Liana Vine has to find. It needs the light to thrive, and yet it needs the strength of the trees around it for support to find the light. If it takes too much light, it destroys the support system around it, and if it doesn’t find enough light, it cannot offer the animals their pathways and bridges or the protection to the life below it. A delicate balance indeed.
What I find most fascinating, is how the Liana Vine continues to persevere no matter what.
If it becomes cut or damaged, the Liana Vine will send its growth underground into its roots. It gathers its strength, growing under the soil and then resurfaces amongst new trees that can support its trek to the light.
The Liana Vine is a remarkable component of Mother Nature. A living entity that finds just the right balance of light to serve a purpose to the environment around it, and takes just enough support from the environment around it to do so…and yet, when the scales are tipped one way or the other, it has a natural defense mechanism built in to survive and rise again.
Perhaps, we too are like the Liana Vine.