Although we live in a town, it isn’t an inner-city town. Tucked behind the South Downs in Hampshire, we are just 19 miles from the sea.
An ordinary town really, rows of streets spreading out from the town centre with all manner of shops and businesses. The local council keep it tidy and provide us with well-kept trees, bushes and green areas.
Sometimes, if you know where to look, you can find something special here, something that doesn’t quite belong. Hidden among the sprawling streets, small treasures can be found. Little rivers emerge unexpectedly, creating a magical atmosphere. ( I have recently found another such treasure. Post to follow…)
We have such an oddity in our back garden.
We all have trees and bushes in our gardens, but we have a giant gum tree. Far taller than our house, it dwarfs every tree for miles around.
It seems so much supple than other trees and maybe this has something to do with it being a gum tree. The leaves smell faintly of eucalyptus and it has such a graceful way of moving with the wind.
I watch this tree most mornings as I wait for my brain to warm up, but this morning we had the aftermath of Storm Eric. The wind was fierce, so the view from my window was dramatic. Strong gusts tried to break the tree, viciously pushing and shoving until I thought one would give way. But the branches were so supple they simply danced away, ducking and weaving like a Whirling Dervish until the wind abated.
We could learn a lot from trees. Most of them have been here longer than we have and will remain long after we have gone. They survive, I think because they simply do what they were born to do and they do it well. They take what comes in their stride (so to speak) patiently waiting for the seasons to change or the wind to stop blowing.
A lesson for us all there, I think…
Take life by the short straw
Shake the tree see what falls
If it’s apple cores, save the pips for another day
Plant them when the time is right
Never hide your face from the light
Dance under rainbows
Bless the rain that sent you colour
Count your days with great delight
Send love out to catch the waves
Shake the tree a second time
Star might fall to light your way
To bring back dreams from yesterday
If still, you find no delight
Shake the tree with all your might
Until it gives all from sheer fright…