Tuesday, May 24, 2022

A life of pleasure

What do you know? No one has commented on the change of blog title which has been there for some weeks. It used to say Fragments of a Writer's Life. (I was dictating this and the blog interpreted it as 'Fragments of a Righteous Life.' Some hope.)

When I was so miserable before I went to London and got my mojo back - thank you so much, dear Het - a fellow Quaker and friend said I should shed my puritan outlook and live for pleasure, and that is what I'm currently doing.

So what gives me pleasure as well as hosting refugee hospitality days (see last post)?

I'll tell you: trees.

This is our back garden. We planted all the trees in it except for the beech, top right. There's a rowan tree on the left, a silver birch taking centre stage, two silver birches, a blue spruce and two hollies behind, a pine tree at the back you can just make out to the right of the silver birch, and a a plum tree, centre right.  I am especially proud of the pine tree because I grew it from a seed from a cone I picked up in Center Parcs in 2001. That tree is now twenty five feet high.

In the front garden there are two copper beeches (we didn't plant) and across the road in the field a row of stately limes. 

I love to watch these blowing in the breeze with the sun on them, as I lie on the sofa in the evening, exhausted from my life of pleasure.

Last Saturday night

And on the other side of the front garden is our laburnum tree which my brother Jonty gave me as a 6 inch high seedling, 20 odd years ago.

And we have a new generation of baby trees. These are either ones I have grown from seed, or self seeded trees I have found in the garden:

There are two beeches, a sycamore, a hawthorn, a birch, and a field maple. Oh, and an oak that a friend gave me. The field maple is my favourite but don't tell the others. 

And in the interests of honesty, here is a tree I want to pull up and Dave refuses to give up on. It's a spruce we bought as a Christmas tree about fifteen years ago and it has been suffering ever since we planted it out. I think perhaps in those days I didn't cushion the blow of the winter weather by putting my Christmas trees in the shed for a week before planting them out. Dave gave me permission to get rid of it, but then before I did the deed, the tree put out some fresh buds and I hadn't the heart.

But I don't want to leave on a sad note, so here is a self seeded larch I found in the garden two years ago that we have just planted out:

I love my trees.

What times are these, in which
A conversation about trees is almost a crime
For in doing so we maintain our silence about so much wrongdoing!

– Bertolt Brecht, ‘To Those Who Follow in Our Wake‘, 1939


marmee said...

Oh always envious of that astonishing green you guys there over the ocean get to experience ! beautiful trees , beautiful tree tales as well and what a great quote . Surprised me , although goodness me I know less than nothing a bout Berthold Brecht...

Sue Hepworth said...

Yes yes, I am so loving the green this May. It makes up for the chilliness of the air. And it is supposed to be hot! But I was wearing my puffa jacket on our walk today.
But the green is why I could not live in Colorado. It is only green for about four months there and even then there is no lushness.