Andrea Morreau 2020 Colour Pencil

Trees in lockdown became a metaphor for movement and the tangle of life during this time. Musing about them can bring us connection and clarity.

They make journeys through millennia and across vast distances, sending their seeds and pollen on the wind & the legs of insects. Inviting animals to live inside them and carry their seeds by foot or wing to a place they choose to settle. Maybe a mile away, maybe thousands, maybe to an island in the middle of the ocean.

All this time they’ve been experimenting with different ways to have sex- with themselves and with each other. Laying down new roots and creating new freedoms, providing homes for the creatures that will help them travel agin; cutting ‘apron strings’.

Looking at satellite photos I see rivers sculpting trees on the landscape, tributaries branching out. But with rivers the water flows the opposite way from high to low, always seeking fellow waters to join. Trees, by contrast pump water from root to leaf, seeking altitude and travelling in the air. Maybe the vapours are following the seeds.

Here are some of the trees we sent to each other from our physically disconnected worlds.

Tree standing alone noble
connected to the field where 
you belong on a gentle slope 
short distance from hawthorn hedge,
seed blown by Mother Nature's 
spiritual wind to the place she wanted
you to take root and grow.
 Maura O'Neill 

A selection of photos by Maura, Anna, Patrick & Ruth

  Walk with native Irish trees
 along the river willows overhang
 saileach, sallies, pliant wands for osiers
 nearby, alders keep their feet in water
 shaking aspens, cran creathac, give
 their name to Glencree, Glan Critheac
 quaking valley  where my friend lives
 shows us her fairy tree, hawthorn
 early blossom we may not bring indoors.
 Druids know oak groves are sacred
 places of wisdom, rituals, sacrifice
 rowantrees have powers of enchantment
 hazel wands divine where water lies
 hazel scrub with holly form understorey
 for taller forest trees.
 On my way back I hug an old Scots pine
 recall a walk under an arch of yews
 towards the alter, a giant tree, two
 thousand years of age, still standing there.
 Lives of trees and people intertwine
 rooted in cycles of the natural world. 
 Rosy Wilson
 Here we go again...
 leaves shed by sleepy trees
 whirl by in a blustery gale
 rain spills from gutters,
 glossy berries, bitter sloes, glisten.
 Here we go again... 
 on parole in our own homes
 plagued by uncertainty
 the wind sucks noisily on the stove pipe,
 scatters countless ripe acorns in the grass. 
Judy Russell
Pencil drawing by Paul Haydock-Wilson

Recommended Tree Reading

Author: Anna Haydock-Wilson

Artist, Filmmaker and Community Project Manager

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