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XEROPHYTE

April 28, 2016

The letter X

Okay, I might as well admit it right up front, for today’s chosen topic beginning with the letter X, I had to do a bit of research. Despite all my workings with the English language, I must confess my resources for words beginning with the letter X are sadly, quite limited indeed.

Having said that, I set off to find a word that contained something I might be able to relate to and that, right off the bat, eliminated the few common “X” words that come rolling off the tongue like X-ray or Xylophone. Sheesh!

Succulant plants

I found myself, where else, but on the web, poking around for X-words and I stumbled upon one that I feel has (wait for it……..) depth.
The word I give the honor of the day to is XEROPHYTE. And if truth be told, I had never heard the word until today. But I like it.

To the best of my understanding, Xerophytes are a species of plants that compare in a way to camels within the animal kingdom. It seems these plants are highly adaptive in their ability to conserve of all things, water. They are actually able to store large quantities of it during dry periods so they can survive. Some sources actually claim that these plants can get their metabolic systems to effectively shut down so they don’t soak up the water the same way, thereby making it last longer so they survive.

How cool is that? They are designed to be able to balance their own intake of water, their very source of life, in a way that pertains to their individual need. If there happens to be a drought, their internal mechanism is able to monitor their functioning so that they can live longer.

Maybe I’m barking up the wrong tree here, but I don’t know “advanced” species, say, us human beings, who can do that. Almost all of us have a really hard time balancing the things we think we want, let alone the things we truly need in order to survive. Heck, most of us can’t even balance our checkbooks (if we still have them since the advent of online banking).

Blooming Cacti

Typically, plants would evaporate water at a quicker rate in an environment that was dry (and this can go for hot, dry climates such as deserts, or arctic climates where the water plants need to survive freezes due to the continuous, extreme cold). But this doesn’t happen with Xerophytes. They allocate the water they absorb to the areas that need new tissue growth and are able to store it for later too. Somehow, they manage this intricate, individualized water supply system within themselves, enabling their continued survival.

So I am thinking a lot about how I can learn to be more like a XEROPHYTE. I need to learn what is truly needed in my own life and to discover a way within me to balance it so I too, can continue to survive – even through periods of drought.

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