Amoeba’s Lorica: Roots (A Meditation)

Diagram of a plant's rootsRoots.

Rhymes with “boots”.

Persons with boots on are firmly anchored to the soil. Well grounded.

Except there are some places where “roots” is pronounced more like “ruts”. Rhymes with … another way to be well grounded. Or at least well seated. Perhaps more comfortable, perhaps not.

Perhaps a reminder that “well rooted” can be another way of saying “stuck”.

Americans are famous for “rooting” for their favorites, demonstrating that they are well grounded in their faith that their side will prevail, that they’re stuck in to cheering on their homeys. Blissfully unaware, most of them, of the ridicule this attracts from other English speakers, for which “root, root, root for the home team” conjures up images of naked people, um, exercising themselves under banners (on blankets?) prominently displaying the team logo. Stuck in, indeed. Puts a whole new perspective on the “seventh inning stretch”.

Root cross section showing steleBut roots are tough. Have to be. It’s a hard world, deal with it. Indeed, unless they show their stele, they can’t even be called roots. Any that try to sneak by get caught out when they can’t handle the weights, and they get laughed out of the gym. And after a hard workout, the hard bodies head to the local bar, order brewskis, and get down with some music. Roots music. Steley Dan is a favorite.

Where roots run deep in the ground, there are usually signs above. Massive trunks filled with diaries, curios, pictures of great-grandchildren and their ancestors, layered accumulations of miscellaneous enthusiasms. But even the toughest roots can be overcome by their superstructures, and when the crash comes, the ruin is total, not only for the edifice but for a large chunk of the surrounding neighborhood.

And then there are others, where the roots are shallow, the halls lack furniture, the walls are barren of ornaments. That ask for just enough time and water and ground to accomplish a task before the next season of storms. And when those winds come, they blow obediently before them, rolling towards the sunset, spreading their seed and hoping that some will find rain.

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