The ridiculously large seed is suspended but still touching the water beneath it. It sits by the kitchen window, still a curiosity to all those that pass, but not for much longer. Soon its identity will be revealed. A pre-historic wonder waiting for an extinct animal to come along, ingest it and in turn propagate it. I daren’t tell it that there are no gomphothere, large elephant-like creatures, roaming about the Earth for fear of breaking it’s will to live. Instead it has me and other enthusiastic Homo sapiens that help its survival.
I’m an avid avocado fan, and will do what I can to help Mother Nature ensure its genetic programming will kick into place and grow into a tree. And, although its ancestors did flourish in the forests of Central America, I can offer it prime real-estate in the form of a warm, south-facing room. Enough? I really do hope so. In a strange way, I would like to nurture this pre-historic seed, my way of saying thanks for all the help its cousins and family have given my skin over the years.
Tip: Go mash the flesh of a ripe avocado and add two teaspoons of olive oil, combine, and spread across your face. Transforms the driest, crepe-like skin.
Of course I am sure the avocado tree didn’t just propagate to quench our thirsty human skin, its mission was and still is to ensure the survival of its kind, but to do that it depended on large ground sloths, and those big, giant elephants to do so. The fact remains that these animals no longer exist, but back in the day, during the Miocene and Pliocene eras plants and animals depended on each other’s survival: evolutionary anachronism. Yet it seems, it’s not just the avocado that are affected. Homo sapiens are not entirely exempt from such evolutionary leaps. Think about our appendix, what about goose bumps and then there’s facial hair.Does the 21st Century person need any of these now? No, not really.
I’ve got good news and bad news. The good news: instead of driving things to extinction, we humans are quite adept at saving plants, animals too. Not just the avocado, but also the pungent Ginkgo Biloba, the tree that watched dinosaurs roam, graze, play and fight. And are you ready? Even coffee, we’ve saved that too. Can you imagine a world without coffee? Coffee cake? I cannot. The bad news? We have driven far too many species to either the brink or complete extinction-beautiful, wonderful, fantastic things. And remember, once things are gone, they’re gone: there is no bring ’em back alive. We discovered fire, played with the matches and sent a lot up in smoke – let’s hope we’re not next on the list.
In the meantime, I’m going to watch in wonder as a very old seed begins a new life.