The Pando, a trembling giant, is the oldest living organism on earth––also the largest and most dense, its name means I spread, which it does over one-hundred and six acres.
How old? I wondered. Some date this clonal colony back 80,000 years, a moment that roughly corresponds to the first known human burial. This seems significant.
There is a woman who travels the earth photographing the old trees. Time is the trunk, she says. Notice the split, she says, pointing to one of the ancients. To accommodate the storm.
She looks and looks. In each careful frame, she watches the old souls, how they shape the light. Making a record, she says. Lest people forget who they were, in the event of further collapse.
In their presence, she finds a reminder. There is still grace. There is still beauty. There is something and it’s made of grief but also beyond it, and it is still here.
Inspired by this article on photographer Beth Moon’s quest to photograph ancient trees, and also by this articleabout the world’s oldest clonal colony of aspen. I learned about the earliest known human burial here.