When I cannot see the Wood for the Trees …

… I go for a walk in the woods. 
I am lucky enough to live five minutes’ walk away from a large expanse of wooded nature reserve that teems with life – plant, animal and bird – and offers me an escape whenever I need one.  Disappearing between the trunks of oak, ash, beech and rowan and following the winding paths made by the wood’s denizens has always been a sure-fire way to clear my head of muddle and confusion. I have yet to set foot in a wood that has not held a sense of peace and in allowing myself to join with that space, I find the inner peace I need to deal with whatever had got me into a tizzy in the first place.

I have my favourite trees, old friends whom I greet by name and who allow me to sit in their branches or at their roots and rest for a while, their calmness being absorbed into me through the connection of bark against skin. The buzzards who nest in the tops of the tallest trees give me a wide berth, as do the squirrels who mistrust my faithful canine companion, but the robins, sparrows, blackbirds and various species of tits happily zip around me as long as I remain still and quiet. Even the magpies who nest in what I think is the oldest oak in the wood are happy to come and chatter to me as I pass by.

Trees do not care what clothes I wear, what I do for a living, what my relationship status is. They ask nothing of me but that I tread carefully and leave their home as I have found it. They accept me as I am and in return, I do what I can to preserve them as they need to be preserved. I cannot imagine a world without trees. Or rather, I do not want to, because it would be hollow, empty, desolate place.

~ – ~

The writing of this was prompted by the Tree Charter website’s call for stories, anecdotes and thoughts about trees from anyone in the UK. They will be using what is submitted to create the Charter for Trees, Woods and People. Their website says the following on what that actually means:

The articles, or chapters, of the Charter for Trees, Woods and People, will be based upon the stories you share with us about how trees improve your life. The tree charter will set out people’s rights to these benefits and will remind us of the responsibilities we need to undertake to ensure that trees are protected and recognised in the future.

During 2017 carved ‘story poles’ will be installed across the UK. These poles will be a lasting reminder of the charter and the importance of trees in our lives. Stories can be carved into and written on these poles, helping to spread and continue the legacy of the tree charter.

The tree charter will launch on the 800th anniversary of the Charter of the Forest, which was signed in 1217. This charter aimed to protect the rights of the people to access the Royal Forests.

My story is now up on their blog here and if you live in the UK and would like to share your own story about trees, you can do so here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s