QBARS - v12n4 Survival

Edward L. Manigault

Rhododendron growing on cavernous rock.
Fig. 40.  Rhododendron growing on
cavernous rock.

I am sending a photograph of a most unusual rock formation, showing the effects of many years of erosion. Since this rock group is in a large man-made lake, fifteen feet above a controlled water level, the struggling rhododendron in the “bowels” of the rock had a strong appeal for me and put me into the humor of writing the attached.

Borne by air currents, or by nature's other means, tiny seed fall upon a huge unknowing rock. </p>

Scattered by wind and water and by passing feet, they seek out their separate destinies.

Just one remains-brushed into a crevice by the furry tail of a big raccoon stealing down thru twilight shadows to wash its catch at the water's edge.

Here, thru winter sleep, in rare security, the seed awaits that long-planned moment when heat and moisture join their hands to consummate that eons old wonder - the birth of a plant.

As the embryonic shoot reaches upward for the light, the tender rootlet seeks out the protective depths of the rock.

With the splitting force of growing things, it will not be denied.

Into the cool darkness of the inner rock its tendrils probe, to anchor and sustain the ever-demanding plant.

Altho hardening to vagaries of environment, it will not long survive without aid from some continuing source beyond its close surroundings.

Rain-borne elements folia-feed the plant, and are left in myriad pores of the rock to osmotically serve the thirsty rootlets that seek in all directions within the cleft.

Now anchored in the vitals of the rock, tenaciously it fights for life-and, in that fighting, grows.

And thus it is with man.

'Tho God plants some lives in fertile soil, He sows the most on rocky ground.

For here, mere struggle to survive soon nurtures strength for greater things.

And thus, in God's transcendent plan, each man must mold his destiny.

But, like the plant upon the rock, all men need help along the way. </i>