Growth requires death: old ideas, old branches, anything that needs composting and regeneration. It is that cycle of life and death that makes a forest feel so fresh and alive.
Walking through a forest cathedral with all of its rich scents reminds me of how I felt when I first walked into some of Europe’s ancient chapels during services where they were burning frankincense and myrrh. There’s something sacred and mystical about communing with a forest or cathedral.
And, yet, when we apply the term "old growth" to humans, it sounds like an oxymoron. Old people don’t grow. They just die. Yet, every living thing dies at some point and most animals and trees wear their years just like we do.
So, if we could realize that our earthly carcass (the body) isn’t the only way to measure growth, we’d realize that our hearts and souls continue to learn and grow all the way up to our last breath. And, that’s when we would realize that “old” and “growth” can be synonymous.
"Old growth" describes what it feels like on our graduation night at MEA as we all look around the room—marveling at each other’s alive spirit. No one has gotten a facelift or Botox during their week in Baja, but everyone looks and feels both younger and wiser at the same time. Joy is the most enduring cosmetic.