In praise of trees

Me at home in the 1970s. The lovely, enormous, oak tree was to the right of this photo.

I’ve long had a love of trees – ever since I could reach up and sit on the swing under a huge oak tree we had in our front garden. I would soar up into its branches singing, “I’m on top of the world” by the Carpenters. Ah memories!

When Guy and I moved to Canada we bought a house with a lone apple tree in the back garden which provided much-appreciated shade in the summer and a dramatic measure of the depth of the snow in the winter. We attached a little yellow bucket-seat swing later on, for the children to swing on.  When it was time to move back to England, I realised it was that apple tree that was the most difficult part of our home to say goodbye to.

Two years later we landed here in Nailsworth and now the tradition continues. At the bottom of our garden towers an enormous copper beech tree – so huge, it’s almost intimidating. But not to Julia, who has inherited my love of communing with something larger than herself through the simple pleasure of tree and swing. She is 13 now and still spends hours out there, lost in her own world, sheltered by the power and beauty of this magnificent expression of spririt.

As someone who is passionate about people allowing their full potential, beauty and gifts to shine out brightly, I love this quote from Baha’u’llah.  (19th Century Persian prophet). He said:

“Man is like unto a tree. If he be adorned with fruit, he hath been and will ever be worthy of  praise and commendation. Otherwise a fruitless tree is but fit for fire. The fruits of the human tree are exquisite, highly desired and dearly cherished. Among them are upright character,virtuous deeds and a goodly utterance.”
.There’s a lot we can learn from trees.
A collection of my favourite personal shots of trees:

4 Responses to In praise of trees

  1. The hardest part of leaving my current house is leaving behind my beautiful acer tree. Bought when I was 24 it’s travelled all over London, in ever increasing sized pots, to my various abodes, then to Bristol. When we moved to Stroud it got too big for its massive pot even and it went in the ground. It’s a beauty. It can’t really be moved again. I’ve had it nearly 30 years. It’s always been with me! What shall I do?? I’ll replace it with another, smaller one and stand outside my old house first week of every April when it bursts into leaf… That’s what I’ll do
    ! It’s a lesson in letting go….

    • Hey Karen – so sorry you’ll be leaving your beloved Acer behind. But perhaps all is not lost – see the comment from Heaven Happens below. Perhaps you could take a cutting and re-grown it in your new house! x

  2. I share your love of trees, when I downsized to a bungalow because of my husbands poor health I took cuttings or seeds with me of my favourite trees. They are now thriving into an acer, cherry, norway spruce, oak, quince, mountain ash! My garden is not large but the trees seem happy – sadly I will be long gone by the time they are fully grown – but fortunately I will get years of pleasure knowing I gave them a chance to flourish. Enjoy your trees!. I love the quote by the way.

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