Between a Rock and a Heart Place

April 22, 2011 at 11:38 am

By John Williams, Marketing Manager, Stanford Blood Center

Isn’t the earth an amazing place? We abuse it every day and it still forgives us. I think we often fail to see it as a living organism. Flora and fauna are a pretty obvious aspect of earth’s living organisms, but much of the earth is comprised of rocks, of course.

I read an interesting article about igneous rocks by Mike Strickler, a geologist who goes by the name “Geo Man“. He considers basalt and granite to be the two most important rocks in the crust. He explains that basalt is extrusive, meaning that it is borne of the magma that breaks through the earth’s crust and erupts on the surface. Many different types of volcanoes are home to basaltic lava flow. What struck me was Mike’s analogy in the blog post: “Basaltic magma is like the blood of the earth – it’s what comes out when the earth’s skin is cut the whole way through.” Fascinating!

The earth as an ecosystem is analogous to the human body, and both organisms are fragile in their own way. Earth Day reminds us of the need to celebrate this amazing planet. Perhaps we should revel in awe of life each and every day by looking no further than our own being. Just like the continual flux of basalt in the earth’s crust, we have this life saving substance called blood running through our veins. Why not share some of this with those in need? Giving blood is giving life. The earth would appreciate it.