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Windows on the Creator


What we can learn from a bamboo forest about the limits of independence.

By Laura Castrillón

I love trees. Today I stared for a long time at one of them through my window. Their wide trunks and solid appearance inspire me with confidence and a certain hint of reverence. On a windy day like today, I also consider how their root systems help them stay unyielding in stormy weather.

But here in Central Virginia, trees don’t seem particularly strong. Despite their robust appearance, their branches often crack and tumble during turbulent weather.

It is not so with Guaduas, a species of tall bamboo that grows back in my country, Colombia. Although technically a grass, a massive forest of Guadua rivals any forest of trees.

As a child, I used to walk through Guadua bamboo forests while the countrymen worked cutting down the long rods used in all types of construction. Houses, roofs, and tall buildings can be made from Guaduas, but also furniture, musical instruments

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About the author

Laura Castrillón is studying Christian media ministry at Hartland College.