XXI. Baobab – World

Baobab – World – Return

Genus: Adansonia – Family: Malvaceae

Baobab signals a time of accomplishment and fulfilment regarding a major aspect in our life’s journey. We are wiser and stronger than when we began as we return to the garden of our soul to rest, rejuvenate, integrate and celebrate. We sense our ‘oneness’ with life.

The baobab, called Africa’s “Tree of Life” is a prehistoric species that dates back 200 million years ago, before Pangea the supercontinent split apart. As the “World” baobab represents Africa, the birthplace of Homo Sapiens around 300,000 BCE. Nearly 100,000 years later our ancient ancestors began migrating out of Africa to populate the four corners of the world. They relied on the cycles of the sun, moon, planets and stars to guide them as they followed the winds of the four directions in search of a new life. Their journey was dependent on finding food, water, shelter, fire, clothing and medicine to sustain them, which led to many discoveries.

Trees helped humans along the way in their desire to explore the world and their limits as a species. Baobab, Adansonia is a genus of deciduous trees found in, Africa, Australia, Arabia and Madagascar.

The name “baobab” is Arabic for “father of many seeds.”

A mature baobab tree, Adansonia digitata, is a living ecosystem that provides almost everything humans need to survive. Baobabs store thousands of gallons of water in their trunks and can live to be 5,000 years old. Communities are created around baobabs because of their ability to sustain and endure where little else lives. Its fruit, called Monkey Bread, is about the size of a large coconut and is a virtual power house food that provides calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, riboflavin, potassium, Vitamin C and carbohydrates. Its flavor is described as a cross between grapefruit and pear with a hint of vanilla. Baobab fruit can naturally dry on the tree and will preserve itself for up to three years. Dried fruit can be turned into powder that is rich in antioxidants. Its seeds can be ground like coffee beans or pressed into oil. Fiber from the bark is pounded to make rope, cloth, nets, baskets and paper. Leaves are eaten like lettuce and glue is made from the pollen. Mature baobab trees become hollow with age and can function as shelters that have held up to 40 people. If they are burned or stripped of their bark they typically form new bark and keep on living. When they do finally die they seem to disappear by collapsing in on themselves, leaving little trace of their existence.

Baobab is unlike any other tree on earth in terms of all that it provides. In many ways, it is an ancient ancestor inviting us home.

Message: The baobab signals a time of coming full circle as we feel a sense of closure on some aspect of our life or the attainment of a goal or dream we held. This accomplishment also brought hardships and challenges but we are able to see that we are wiser and stronger because of it. We are now better able to see the bigger picture of our life and how we can share our love and wisdom with others.

Challenge: Taking the easy or quick path. Losing focus or interest.