Friday, 30 December 2011

Ash Trees

Over the past months I have returned to the patch where I was raised. Dealing with change isn't always easy however, and no place is ever likely to stand still. Close by there is a beautiful garden with rising conifers that is part of the land attached to a period property. Until a few years the house served as an elderly home. To the front was another ornamental garden with a Japanese cherry blossom tree and two willow trees that had been there for years. The trees - probably from the early part of last century had taken on a kind of 'wise guardianship' of the property, something reflected in their age and presence. Perhaps it could also be said, that like the residents of the home who and seen and knew so much, the cherry blossom and the willows had witnessed change over their ages.

A few years ago, the cherry blossom tree was razed to the ground to make way for a drive and from where I stood, springtime in my immediate landscape would not quite be the same. But in time, we move on and the cherry blossom tree was remembered in its own way. Whilst I was away travelling, living and working in new places, the old people's home was closed, a section of the garden tarmacked, but the willows remained. Until one fell about two weeks ago, blown over by the severe windstorms we have had of late and then surgically cut down.

Each of the elements here - the razing of the cherry blossom, the end of the elderly people's home and the willow blown over represents a kind of end that we are reminded to be prepared for. When I stand in awe at the vastness of age and wisdom around me, I cannot help, but feel sad when the presence of something something older, respected and familiar, is gone.

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