Trees

Andrea Morreau

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.
Destiny.
Maura O'Neill 

A selection of photos by Maura, Anna & Gail

 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
 rowan trees 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
Pencil drawing by Paul Haydock-Wilson
 Sunday morning cycle
  
 Riding over those hills again
 I, the sun light and air
 Roll out June’s royal carpet
 Bright green after rain
 Birch, pine, rhododendron
 Each leaf and petal’s droplet
 Its tiny captured spectrum
 Recycles a shining shower
  
 World has sprung to life again
 Free-wheeling around the park
 Greet walkers, joggers, fellow cyclists
 Blackbirds, brown cows, red deer
 Goldfinch, blue tit, iridescent cock
 Pheasants calling, soloist skylark
 Soaring, jackdaws show their mettle
 I step harder on the pedals
  
 Push on up to the top of the morning
 Patrick Wilson

Autumn photos in Horniman Gardens by Ruth

 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

Tree sketches by Anna pencil and charcoal

 
 A tree blasted by lightening
 Many years ago, 
 Still stands testament 
 To its oak nature stubbornness.
 
 In Carlow county sunshine,
 Captured on canvas
 Its mighty energy prevails
 As local legend status. 
 Gail Varian 
A Tree Blasted by Lightening, Gail Varian acrylic on board
Weather I
I stand hand heavy and watch
As the wind strips the blossom from the trees And tiny flecks of cradle cap spiral in the     breeze
I long to catch and re attach each one
But summer lumbers on
The dry grass cracks and once transparent leaves
Harden into cataracts
Your finger and thumb come together and the heavy bud head snaps.
Deftly we defy life as we dip each head in sugar syrup and watch the crystals form.
I live in a kitchen
Protected by an apron
Yet I keep half an eye out for a storm.
  
                                             ****
 This is not a fairy tale
 You can wander in a damp wood and
 Stumble upon a raspberry bush
 Studded with red fruit
 Pick a few
 Take them home for your sweetheart and you
 Can look up 
 Catch a glimpse of resin glazing deep grey bark
 This is not a fairy tale
 I can still feel the rough bark tingling on my palm
 I uncup my hand to find
 three berries nestling there
 Soft as baby mice.
 I tell you this is not a fairy tale
 And an old tree will bear fruit.
 Andrea Morreau 

Tree drawings by Andrea

Recommended Tree Reading

Author: Anna Haydock-Wilson

Artist, Filmmaker and Community Project Manager

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