Hello! I seem to have been absent from here a while, but now I’m back!
I had a stomach bug, then a really bad cold and had to finish off the edits for The Secretary so y’know, it’s been a busy old few weeks. Which meant, because I’m a bit crap and not at all organised, I had no posts already written to put up here and no photographs taken that I could share from my sick bed.
Made me realise that I need to get a bit more organised if I want to call myself a blogger. Be a bit more like one of those people who has a content diary, and back up posts, and someone who actually plans what they’re about to write rather than just whatever takes their fancy.
But, I digress, because there is something I want to write about now, which is the reason for this post.
It’s is a initiation by the Woodland Trust in response to the crisis facing trees and woods in the UK. It is a way to unite individuals and organisations to speak out in one voice and build a kind of people-powered movement for trees. How wonderful is that?
The site talks about how trees inspire stories and, when you think about it, everyone has a tree story of some kind of another. I never really thought about what my tree story was until today, but I reckon I’ve got about ten really good ones. The one I’ve written below, was the first that came to mind.
You probably have a few you’re thinking of right now, be it the tree you used to climb as a kid, or the tree that welcomes you on your favourite walk. I mean, trees are everywhere in books, one of my all time favourites is The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton, and the Treebeards in Lord of the Rings! How brilliant are they? In fact there are many famous trees in literature But, I thought I’d share my tree story, in the spirit of celebrating the day.
My tree story
When I was a child, my dad planted three apple trees in the back garden for me and my two sisters.
A tree for each of us.
He planted them in a semi-circle around a bird table and I remember watching in slight wonder at this tree that was being planted in my name.
I grew up with those saplings, would lie under their shade in the summer months, stare at them from the living room window in winter and watch as birds hopped from their branches.
I’d look up at the inedible apples they produced and try to see which tree was growing the best, was it a sign for how we were growing? One sister out performing the others in the way that the trees were?
We used to taunt each other, claim our apple tree to be the strongest, the biggest. The trees grew with us but as time went on, I stopped playing out in the back garden. Stopped watching the trees from the window as other, more teenage things took priority.
When I moved out of my parents house, I would revisit and look back at those trees, marvelling at them.
They seemed so unremarkable and brilliant all at the same time. I don’t think they ever produced one apple that we could eat but they were embroiled in my childhood memories as clear as a favourite toy or book.
And then, when my parents sold the house, the apple trees went with it.
I said goodbye to the tree, one hand on the trunk and daft as it sounds, thanked it for marking time with me.
Are they still there now?
I have no idea, but I like to think so. I like to think of my dad, buying those trees at the garden centre with the idea of giving one to each of his daughters.
I like the memory of him digging up the Earth, our small faces watching. I want to jump back into history and help. Grab a spade and plant them with him. Stand back and look at those fledgling trees and feel the connection, because for me, that’s what they are. A connection to the past and something to be celebrated and treasured for future generations.
When I move to the house of my dreams, I’d love to be able to plant trees for my kids, as my dad did for us. And if there are already trees in the garden, treat myself to one of these beauties, which I’ve been dreaming of owning since forever.
I’d like to point the trees out and remark on their well being as if they were extended members of the family. But until then, I’ll enjoy remembering my little apple tree and perhaps, when I’m next passing by my old childhood home, look out for it’s branches swaying in the wind.