Tuesday, September 13, 2011

On feeling slightly spooked

To be honest with you I don't like it. I don't like it at all.

Very little rattles me. Give me a chopped off finger, some blood, some gore...creaking floorboards or a spooky ol' graveyard on All Hallows Eve and I'll laugh in the face of fear....but I'm not very happy about the big old tree that's lying up there in the orchard. The tree that toppled only yesterday.

I have my big bright torch and the ability to say boo to a goose but there are still shivers going up my spine as I walk to the field to shut hens in. An unfamiliar shape up there to my left. The big tipped-up root is horrid, the gnarled tangle of snapped branches and vastness of its dark girth is heavy and foreboding....ye gods it could rise up and roar at me. I would not be surprised if it did. I am spooked.

I'm not and never have been a 'tree-hugger' - yet have always afforded them respect none-the-less. There are vague memories of my father telling me what a bad thing it was to carve into the bark - would that be paring into the tree's very soul I wonder now? His words? 'They don't like it.' Whatever. The 5 year old me took his advice on board and have never knowingly done an unkind thing to a tree. I've come to understand the reverence that ancient man felt towards these leviathans of forest and hill - what powerful symbols of longevity and permanence they must have seemed.

The fallen tree's neighbour will be felled next week; having taken advice we believe it is too dangerous to leave standing. I also have a curious feeling that without its life's partner it will fade and die quickly anyway.  We will see this as an opportunity to replant - undoubtably for future generations.

Tomorrow I shall go up into the orchard and stroke the bark a bit. I'll say goodbye -  ask 'Please, don't frighten me in the dark anymore. It will be OK old beech tree - this is the next part of your journey. The Glam Ass will be persuaded to make something from your timber. In that you will live on. '

And there will of course be other trees.


Frances said...

Surely the toppled tree feels your affection and will be glad that you are giving it a very sensitive passageway to another existence.

All the same ... I do know about the power of shadows to give spooky feelings. For many decades!


Cro Magnon said...

Very sad. I hope they both go to good use.

Bizarre WV: herses.

Annie said...

What a lovely thought that the old tree will live on in your other half's creations. I love wood.
A x

the veg artist said...

About 20 years ago I had a garden with some very fine trees. We even had an elm, but it had to be felled. The wood-cutter kept it, sliced, until it was ready, and someone wanted some fine wood. Part of it now sits as a reception counter in what was my local hall (I've moved since), but every time I go there I stroke the counter top. That tree was mine. I knew it when it was growing.
You will feel the same once the shock has passed.

elizabethm said...

I would be spooked too I think. What will you plant instead? It would be great to plant something that will in time be as grand as your beech tree.

Pondside said...

I'm not a tree hugger either, but every year at this time I go out to stoke that new bark of the Arbutus trees. I can't help but believe that trees 'feel'. I like your idea of making peace with the noble old beech - and of having something to keep in the house as a reminder of its life.

Twiglet said...

Everything in nature has its season - at least your tree will be beautifully upcycled by your wonderful Glam Ass.

Fred said...

And after the Glamm Ass has made something fabulous, won't the old tree keep you warm for many winters to come?

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

With the wind dancing in its leaves and with the warmth of its bark , a tree seems very alive .
I can quite see that you'd wish it farewell but , by making something beautiful from it , happily you'll never have to .

Twiglet said...

Just to say thanks for positive vibes for Annie & co. They certainly need all they can get at the mo. x Jo

Fennie said...

Make an enormous dining table and the beams to build a house. Beech is a lovely wood. You could make a garden seat also. Or keep the world in those little salt spoons made of wood.

Incidentally the verification word is 'tartist' which conjures up lots of possibilities from an exotic dancer to a creator of pies

her at home said...

A fine sturdy bench to sit and admire the view and the new trees growing!!