On a walk through Bramall Park earlier this week, I found myself studying the trees. I noticed how many there were, the texture of their trunks and the angles at which some of them were leaning. I noticed too the seedlings beneath them, each striving upwards towards the light, trying to find their place in the world.
I realised too that what I was seeing was not the whole picture. Below ground is what has become known as the wood wide web, consisting not only of all the entangled tree roots, but also, and critically, of a web of fungi and their tentacles stretching far and wide. A web that communicates and sustains.
Random thoughts came to me as I walked and looked. I went from trees to people. A beech tree stands there and says ‘I am a beech tree’. Yet what we see is only a small part of that tree’s existence. There is as much, if not more, below as above.
When I say, ‘I am a hairdresser, ‘I am a teacher’, ‘I am a mechanic’ does that encompass who I am? To say that ‘I am something’ is a very powerful and all embracing statement. When Moses asks God who he shall say sent him to the people of Israel, the answer comes back unequivocally, yet enigmatically, “I am who I am”.
Jesus asks us, as he asked his disciples, “Who do you say that I am?”. The events of Holy Week and Easter keep asking the question. Jesus is asked, “Are you the Son of God?” He replies, “You say that I am”. Pilate asks him, “Are you the King of the Jews?”. Jesus’ reply is , “You have said so”. It’s as if the questions are too simplistic. His answers suggest there may be more below than above.