VIII. Mangrove – Strength – Support
Genus: Rhizophora – Family: Rhizophoraceae
Mangroves remind us of our inner strength and courage during times of struggle and upheaval. They signal our ability to remain stable and calm in the presence of adversity by “shoring up” our resources.
Mangroves exist to support coastal shorelines by taking the brunt force of tidal waves, hurricanes and tsunamis. They disperse this potentially destructive energy through their elaborate and exposed root system. They thrive along coastlines that are inundated by salt water. The word mangrove is attributed to its “mangled grove” appearance. The genus name Rhizophorais derived from the Greek word rhiza, meaning “root,” and phoros, meaning “bearing,” referring to its stilt-like roots.
Mangroves are found in 118 countries and constitute their own forest biome.
There are 110 species that are considered “mangroves,” in the sense that they grow in saline conditions. All mangroves are highly adaptable and perform an important function in creating habitat for marine species and controlling shoreline erosion.
One of mangroves strengths is to serve as filters for salt water that is excreted through its leaves. They breathe through their “stilt like” roots, which act as straws that allow mangroves to survive during high tides. Mangroves remind us of how the strength and gentleness of water ebbs and flows. They help us to feel more confident during times of crisis by reminding us to create our own survival plans.
Mangroves are not native to Hawaii where they are considered an invasive species and classified as pests. This is in sharp contrast to other countries that are working to protect the world’s mangrove ecosystems. It appears that 35% of native mangroves have been destroyed, primarily from shrimp farming. As climate change brings stronger and more frequent storms, there is a grassroots effort to save mangroves by explaining the many benefits they offer. These often-overlooked mangrove forests serve as strong and stable helpers in protecting coastal communities.
Message: Mangrove’s appearance signals a time to shore up important aspects of our lifeby appreciating the support we have and being open to collaborating with others. We must also trust our footings and filter out what is not needed with courage and confidence especially if we are facing challenges. By facing our issues head on we are able to feel more fully alive and passionate about the opportunities that lie ahead.
Challenge: Having a brutal attitude towards life, bullying others to get our way. Feeling hardened by life and not able to appreciate the little things. Release any toxic behaviors.