( For visually challenged reader, the picture shows a tree with human face, eyes open wide and an open mouth, either in smile or scream)
Due to the shortage of hugs around here these days, it suddenly dawned on me that I didn’t even have a tree that I could hug.
There is an old crabapple tree at the bottom of the garden, but it has long been dead, although it is covered by a thick growth of ivy it doesn’t really encourage any hugging, as it has to be swarming with insect life.
Several gardens near me have large trees but I can hardly invite myself into their gardens, not with a lockdown in operation.
That was when I found myself looking at the rather large gum tree in the next-door garden and knew that the new people hadn’t moved in yet!
Desperate for a hug, I sneaked through the gap in the overgrown hedge and approached the tree. It sounds strange but I swear it was waiting for me!
My arms didn’t reach all the way around the dappled bark of the trunk and it felt strangely warm to the touch. I laid my face on the smooth surface of the tree and gave it the best hug.
I was smiling as I made my way back to my own garden, and I knew the smile had come from the tree…