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A slow read - hope you enjoy it.

Last night I walked out to see an old friend.
Down the sheep field beside the boggy wilderness, through the gateway in the stone wall by the sycamores. Then along pathways carved not by human feet, but by sheeps' hooves, making terraces of the steep slope. Through the gorse bushes, the slope here pockmarked with badger holes, half  hidden among the roots, then a scramble down to the narrow channel of the stream and the rushy marsh beyond.
Then up the bank, but still downhill and there was my friend, the ancient crab apple tree, resplendent with blossom.
Who knows how many years ago, a seed found its way, brought by animal or bird, to the steeply sloping bank linking one marsh with another.
It grew and flourished, grew a stout trunk and wide spreading branches. Then one fateful day it was cast down, by easterly gales or the waterlogged soil giving way. Its roots were part ripped from the ground and pointed heavenwards, its trunk spanned the stream and its branches half buried in the soil. This is how I have always known it, nearly 40 years now.  As the only crab apple around, I have never known it bear fruit. There are a couple now in the garden, but though less than a mile, it is still a fair distance for a bee to fly, so fertilisation would be unlikely.
From afar it looks like three  small trees  together, but when you get closer you see the thick branches, covered with moss and lichen, that join at the original trunk. Animals use that as a bridge, and I sat on it with my feet over the water.  Leaning over, my arms could embrace the trunk, but my fingertips barely touched.
Climbing back up the bank, the blossom was at head height and easy to enjoy. The lower  branches were bare and dead, nibbled by sheep and used for back rubbing, but there were insects working the flowers, and all over the trunk and branches and by the ruined roots there were tiny green shoots sprouting.
It made me think and gave me hope. Auden's contemptuous tree tempted fate.
This tree has met fate head on and is still resurgent :)


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 82,773
    Thank you @Buttercupdays ... I feel as if I've walked that way with you  :)
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • BigladBiglad Posts: 2,847
    Marvellous :) 
    East Lancs
  • Fran IOMFran IOM Posts: 2,310
    I did enjoy it!  :)
  • tui34tui34 Posts: 2,740
    What a gentle explanation.  Thank you.  
    A good hoeing is worth two waterings.

  • TopbirdTopbird Posts: 7,712
    That's rather lovely - thank you🙂
    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
  • didywdidyw Posts: 2,743
    Sigh. Just lovely.
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