The glorious Banksia. This is a photo of a spent fruit. It is not a nut or a cone, which it is often erroneously called. The fruit which at its peak consists of thousands of tiny flowers grouped together. The fruits are hard and woody as you can plainly see. There are 173 species of Banksia, and all but one occur in Australia (they are common to all of Austrlia, Papua New Guinea, and parts of Indonesia). In the photo you can see the ‘lip like’ follicles which are open, which means the seeds have been sent to the earth. The Banksia is the epitomy of community, birds thrive on their abundant nectar, as do insects. Spiders and all sorts of bugs live in the spent fruits. The Banksia communes with its neighbours and friends. Their leaves provide a great mulch as they break down more readily than do eucalyptus leaves, and they carefully sow their seeds, fire or extreme heat is required to open the follicles, and when they get that heat the paper thin seeds float and hopefully land in receptive soil. Indeed they are communal, relational.
Community, communal, communion, consist of com = with plus union (together, and in that sense it is used in the Christian church to explain the reception of bread and wine – the people and God are in communion), unity (onness), unal (onness, one). so the words generally mean together with. Common unity, common union, communal are all about a sense of diversity being as yet in union, there is a working together in a common way that only nature understands. There is a onness of which we should be jealous. If we understood it, it would revolutionise the world. Imagine that, if we all joined together in positive common purpose – together with!
Here’s one in all its glory.