When The Gallery called for trees this week, ‘Because you can never have enough trees,’ I stepped into my garden, camera in hand, a prime specimen to seek.
As I walked barefoot through the grass, with Alice toddling along precariously and our cat not far behind, I considered that if it weren’t for blogging I probably wouldn’t be doing this. ‘This’ being taking a moment, with camera in hand, to stop and really notice the beauty in my garden. I would have stepped out to throw a ball about with the girls, do some weeding, put out the rubbish, feed the cat, sweep the stones from the patio (that Alice turfs out continuously from the flower beds), and water the plants. But it was the exercise of taking a photograph, purposefully, that really brought my attention to the present.
Alice reached her arms up in a gesture wanting to be picked up. With her on my hip, and camera around my neck, I stepped through the overgrown pathway at the back of our garden to follow the call of a Tui.
I juggled to focus the lens, with Alice reaching out to explore the camera. I spotted three Tui flirting in the trees, dancing their feathered tango and chortling their throaty song.
And then the cheerful chirp of a Fantail danced into view, instantly making me think of my dear Mum (they are her favourite New Zealand bird). On her visits here we have often been treated to the presence of a Fantail, flitting along beside us as we walked. This is the natural habit of a fantail, as our walking disturbs the insects on which it feeds, but often our little visitor would make an appearance whenever we were talking of loved ones now departed. Mum and I like to think of our friend the Fantail as a sign from Grandma that she’s watching over us. Indeed, the day after Grandma passed on, whilst I sat at my computer by a window, a Fantail came right up to the glass and hovered for several moments. This had never happened before and hasn’t happened since.
And so, I digress, the theme is ‘trees’, not ‘birds’, but trees are the lungs of our planet and the givers of life and food to so many wonderous creatures. As I marveled at the richness of nature, stopping to point out things to Alice and hand her a piece of lavender to roll between her fingers, my mind drifted to the threat of a nuclear meltdown in Japan.
I am frequently alarmed by the devastation caused by our species presence on the planet.
I have three children, who I love dearly, but can’t help feeling a little selfish in creating at times!
Whenever I buy them lunch box fillers, overly wrapped in packaging, I cringe. It is a parents responsibility, and a heavy one it is, to raise them to be conscious of their ecological footprint. Perhaps I should raise them to be a little army of tree planters. I fear that we are currently taking more than we are giving when all is balanced out.
My eyes sought out the large trees on the hill that rises up beyond our property. They were swaying in the wind, standing strong; whilst wrapped in a sheet of tarpaulin, on that same hill, was freshly cut fire wood to keep someone warm in the coming winter.
All around us the Earth provides. Trees, we can definitely NEVER have too many of them.
Please visit ‘Trees for Survival’ – there are many wonderful people doing so much work to readdress the balance. I used to spend weekends volunteering at local native-tree planting schemes. I vow to do this with my children, as soon as Alice is a little more independent and has learned the art of planting and not just digging x