I found this quote and subsequent information in a ‘Family Circle’ magazine. “Female pinecones are fatter than their male counterparts and have harder scales.” Ooooof course they are.
I read this and I thought, well isn’t that just typical. And then I caught my sarcastic self and asked, ‘God, why would this be? What comparison to pinecones and humans are you trying to get across to me?’ This is what I came up with. Please read this with a sense of humour…and yes, God has one. And remember, I am sarcastic, so please read accordingly.
Right off the bat I thought well, we know that women tend to carry a little more ‘weight’ than males.
I’m using the word ‘weight’ rather than ‘fat’, because I dislike that word. However, in order to make sure we are all on the same page, let’s review. We know God made us this way for a reason. “Fat in normal women represents between 18% and 20% of body weight, whereas in men it represents only 10% to 15%. The reason for this difference is that women at some point in their lives may nourish a fetus and then a baby from their own reserves, so women have to stock energy in the form of fat in anticipation of future pregnancies…” (humankinetics.com) (website info…no I didn’t do a proper bibliography…moving on).
I also learned that there is quite a difference when you compare the male and female species in the Animal Kingdom to the male and female species of the Pinecone Kingdom. (I know…I should have said ‘Plant Kingdom’, but I only learned about pinecones, not all plants…I’m not a Botanist…moving on).
In the Animal Kingdom we know that the male species is much more colourful and vibrant, even more vocal. (I guess the male has to be able to attract a female somehow). Which I find kind of odd, because in humans, if a man comes along, struttin’ his stuff, lookin’ like he ‘overdid it’ with his wardrobe or cologne, most women would be all, “Doris, get over here, you gotta see this one!” I digress…continuing on. In the Animal Kingdom the female species tends to be dull in colour and well, boring. She is generally inconspicuous and unobtrusive to avoid prey in order for her to protect her young. Now I know and you know, that there is a reason that Human Mothers have been given the nickname, ‘Momma Bear’. I don’t know a mother alive that couldn’t ‘chase a bear home with a switch’ if someone hurt one of her babies. (The phrase ‘chase a bear home with a switch’ is courtesy of my mother-in-law. Thanks Leora.)
Back to the Plant, I mean Pinecone Kingdom. Now in the pinecone world it’s a little different. “The male species are much less conspicuous even at full maturity.” (Hmm, a mature male, who knew?) “While the female varies more markedly (and is usually always larger), between the different conifer families and is often crucial for the identification of many species of conifers.” (Wikipedia, and nope, still no bibliography…continuing on). So what we have here is a bit of role reversal. The female pinecone needs to be larger in size as it carries all the seed; the male carries the pollen. Female scales are harder to be able to endure being carried by wind and water, and to be ingested by birds only to then be excreted with the seed intact and deposited farther from the original site. (Wow! We women take a lot of crap, don’t we?) We know how tough we females are. We adapt to a variety of challenges that comes in life. “Female cones are mostly found nearer the top of the tree while the Male cones are located nearer the bottom.” (I’m skipping this opportunity.) “Researchers believe this is due to a better chance of cross pollination as pollen is unlikely to be blown vertically upward.” (What were you thinking?)
“Some pinecones have thorn-like prickles”. I was not able to determine if this little tidbit belonged to the male or female of the species, but whatever, I think we all know a few individuals that could fit either gender.
The last bit I gleaned made me smile; I get it. This refers to using pinecones as decorations in your home. “Before working with pinecones, heat pinecones first to melt the sap. This result adds a nice glaze to the pinecones. Also, if the pinecone hasn’t opened already, it will open in the heat. If you make a decoration for outside, the opened pine cone may close again in a wet, humid climate.” All I could think of was how God sees us. How like a pinecone we are! When God wants us to be open to what He has for us, He turns up the heat in our life. We also know He is our Protector and provides that ‘closed again’ or ‘safe’ feeling. And what is the result of that heat? The glaze: we come out beautiful, made in His image. So whether we seem a little crusty, or a little plump, remember we are designed to handle the challenges we face and the seas we traverse in life because He has given us everything we need to survive.
This also reminds me of one of our family camping trips. Our daughter, Bethany, then 5, was busy gathering pinecones, needles, leaves and other treasures, devising some sort of concoction from her imaginative mind. Curtis, who was 3 at the time, was playing nearby, and Bethany was keeping a wary eye on him. Realizing her need to go to the washroom, and discovering the dilemma of having to leave her precious findings alone, or worse, with her brother, she decided to enlist the help of her dad. Inquiring in the sweetest voice, she asked, “Daddy, can you watch my pinecones,” then, pausing and looking suspiciously at her brother, “and everything else in the forest?”
‘Just A Little Something’ we all learned today.