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Mangrove Misfit - By Lydia Fraser

Updated: Nov 8, 2021

My brother is a keen fisherman with a keen eye. He has the ability to see into the heart of things. Although he has a good heart his piercing insight has at times pierced the heart of others, mine included. Often his raw truth does hurt, yet it is his truth and his raw intelligence that I admire about his nature.

Nature has been his greatest teacher and it was he who taught me the value of the mangrove wetlands. In fact they are invaluable, these primordial putrefying salt-marshes are powerful, fragile and intricate structures. Their hidden creative power was skewed by my false perception of their decomposing and ebbing nature.

Nature is always speaking to us through metaphor. If we listen and observe, we will be assisted in the unfurling of an innate understanding that we are intrinsically connected to the natural world. The wisdom of the mangroves invites you to immerse yourself in your own investigative nature. Beyond sand-flies, sludge and stinking sediment these ancient ecosystems embody the teaching of "Look beneath the surface".

These life-giving forests teach us the cyclical nature of the life/death/rebirth processes. Wild, fertile, turbulent and elemental forces are contained within a operational network that provides a feedback loop of destruction and creation. Life ceases to exist if these two elements don't perform their evolutionary interplay. An acceptance of these conditions is the key to our own human evolution.

When we return to nature we return to ourselves. Mangrove deltas are deliciously primal, once they draw you in to their mystery an inner devotion to the workings of nature stirs within your being. There is a steadfast stillness in those forests that I trust implicitly. I hold reverence for their ability to protect life and survive in challenging conditions. These primeval marshlands are attuned to the rhythmic essence of ebb and flow. They emanate the power and certitude of this natural law that governs all life.

Their bio-diverse framework is pure symmetry connected through symbiotic systems that adapt, protect, nurture, purify and stabilize. These mystical forest-lands are potent in their alchemical ability to sustain life. They are desalination structures that distills salt water through a process which allows the salt to be secreted through their leaves. Mangroves are natures filtering systems. Their sediment trapping abilities transmute pollutants which result in improving water quality.

A Yale engineering professor Menachem Elimelich developed a water-purifying device that resembles the mangroves filtration system. Nature is our greatest teacher, inventors such as Viktor Schauberger were inspired through observing the workings of mother nature. As was the great architect Antoni Gaudi.

The highest of human potential lies in the ability to observe and function co-creatively with the natural world. Inspiration awaits to all that respectfully enter her sacred domain. The sacred premise to protect and nurture inevitably creates a relational connection to nature and life itself. The unification of protection and nurturing are vital virtues displayed by the mangroves mastery to thrive within deconstructive/ productive life cycles. Mangroves protect coastal regions from erosion, storm surges and cyclones. It is a nurturing environment that serves as a marine nursery and it provides a breeding and feeding ground for many oceanic creatures.

Mangrove leaves and wood go through a catabolic/destructive process to produce life-giving nutrients. All living systems are inherently designed to breakdown in order to breakthrough. This is an evolutionary process that creates life. If we heed the lessons of nature not only will humanity survive, it will thrive. In this moment of time we are living in the ebb... Systems are breaking down. We need to pause as nature does and decide which way we want to flow. Can you hear "mangrove wisdom" speaking to us through the winds of change?... "Foster the future, it is time to connect, protect and nurture."

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