From mistletoe to Spanish moss,
epiphytes, you know, are philagathos--loving that which is good.
They don't take more than they need in the way of basic nourishment to become established on a host tree such as an oak or maple. Providing additional photosynthetically derived energy for their hosts, they make cozy nesting material for birds, appear to assist avian digestive processes, and are collected as elegant decorating supplies by aesthetic-minded members of the animal kingdom.
In the plant kingdom, epiphytes are neither here nor there, living at the mercy of their hosts. I do believe epiphytes, especially the various types of mistletoe, have been much maligned and don't deserve the bad reputation they may have acquired because of hearsay or old-wives' tales. And who wouldn't love the idea of pineapples growing on trees?
My study of literature sometimes ranges from the sublime (Wordsworth's "Resolution and Independence") to the ridiculous (Lewis Carroll's "The White Knight's Song"). But what is ridiculous about the need to survive in difficult economic times? Carroll somehow understood better than Wordsworth the absolute necessity for laughter in times of great distress. Wordsworth was perhaps laboring under the delusion of his time that "moving forward" and being "optimistic" were keywords for success in any endeavor. And anyway, laughter makes more of an impression than wringing of hands or gnashing of teeth in times like this one. Somehow it eventually draws your attention to the dire needs of others who are less fortunate. You know--the ones you see along the various highways and byways these days, toting small bundles, bearing the weight of the world's diminishing dividends ultimately decreed by greedy "expert" financiers.
The White Knight's SongI'll tell thee everything I can;There's little to relate.I saw an aged, aged man,A-sitting on a gate."Who are you, aged man?" I said."And how is it you live?"And his answer trickled through my headLike water through a sieve.He said, "I look for butterfliesThat sleep among the wheat;I make them into mutton-pies,And sell them in the street.I sell them unto men," he said,"Who sail on stormy seas;And that's the way I get my bread--A trifle, if you please."
But I was thinking of a planTo dye one's whiskers green,And always use so large a fanThat they could not be seen.So, having no reply to giveTo what the old man said,I cried, "Come, tell me how you live!"And thumped him on the head....