Mistletoe and the viruses that plague mankind may seem unrelated; however, in my present state of mind I see similarities.
In spite of our distance from large population centres, Mitchell in outback Queensland gets its fair share of viruses, and this week has seen me laid low. My body is fighting, hurting and feeling exhausted, but at least I know I will gradually return to normal, even though weakened for a time.
Trees with mistletoe struggle too, as the parasitic plant sucks nutrients from its host. Some trees with mistletoe look barely alive, while others seem okay. Of course, it's not in the mistletoe's best interest to kill the tree, as without its host it too would die.
So I look at trees bearing great clumps of mistletoe and feel sorry for them in their weakened state.
I wonder if trees feel pain or exhaustion? I wonder if they communicate between themselves? I wonder if trees are aware of people, especially those who pause, stroke their trunks and gaze up into their branches?