Wednesday, October 03, 2018

The world, the universe, and trees

Dave does not do indifferent. He is either outraged - as in this morning's justified rant against Trump's latest unspeakable behaviour - or he is euphoric - such as about new discoveries in astrophysics. 

In the latter case, he erupts into the room and waves his arms about in febrile excitement, and hyberbolic sentences pour out of his mouth. Unfortunately my brain goes into meltdown when I hear phrases like 'billions of light years.' I cannot imagine what such humungous numbers mean, nor do I understand how they relate to me. When I tell him this, he explains that the immensity of the universe is a comfort. It makes him realise his troubles and his life are insignificant.

Everywhere there is trouble - here, in America, Syria, Gaza, Indonesia, Eritrea, and more and more and more, and the politicians in so many places make things worse. Life would still go on if there were no politicians, no government. The trees, the rivers, the clouds would still be here if there were no governments. Increasingly with the world like this:

by Banksy 

.....I want to be outside in the warm, cold, breezy, whatever air, and to see the trees. Trees are such a comfort. 

Liz and I went for a replenishing walk along Bradford Dale yesterday.

Before we climbed the hill and left the dale, Liz introduced me to one of her favourite trees, a sycamore. It is old and has a wide and sturdy trunk and leans asymmetrically over the water. It is not a perfect shape, I mean in terms of the platonic ideal of a sycamore tree. But it's beautiful - really beautiful. And it has ferns growing in its bark. I don't mean at the base, I mean 6 feet up, and again at 12 feet up. It's a nurturing tree. You'd feel safe if this tree was your home.

Here it is in March:

photo: Liz McGregor

In June:

photo: Liz McGregor

and in July, with Liz:

photo: Liz McGregor

I have started to grow some trees at home. Currently they're seedlings. I have a pine, a holly, a beech and an oak. When they're robust enough I'm going to plant them alongside the Trail. It's some kind of contribution. Perhaps one of them will be a comfort to someone in the long long future.

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