Living among the tall trees

There are ancient trees on the old field boundaries. Oaks with vastly extending branches that have nested birds for centuries.

I love standing beneath their boughs and grieve each time a limb falls.

Then there are much younger trees, including silver birches, ash, rowan and self-seeded willow. These have seen the more recent wilding of the valley over the last few decades.

And then there are the really tall trees.

The magnificent row of beech trees and what appears to be specimen conifers soaring into the sky that line the narrow approach into the valley from the village.

These are the trees I have to crane my neck to see their crowns.

They have been here for over 140 years since the corporation built the original Victorian reservoir. Adornments of their time, they are now timeless. And huge.

They have seen all the changes from horse and cart and hand tools through to the tractors and other vehicles that find their way up here today.

And they remind me that I am just a passing traveller, here for a short while.

Because in relative terms, we are only a fleeting breath.

Yet, we are each given a voice and a space to inhabit.

So we need to find the words for this place and this season.  

This is our job to do.

For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.

– TS Eliot, from Little Gidding, Four Quartets


This week

In writing this week, I have sensed the challenge of our time, including being prepared to dig into questions that aren’t always comfortable or easy. Because even when the harvest is approaching, there is preparatory work to do.

Cheering you on from a little valley in South West Wales.