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  • Writer's pictureCrone

I spied her

I could only see her when she moved.

She was on the bark of the Ancient Oak, the one in the copse. I went to see him because I was worried about something. I asked permission to step under the canopy and the tree said, "You have to leave all that selfish junk behind." Really, he was saying I couldn't approach unless I stopped the fretting. I was pretty pissed off, but suggested another topic of conversation and the tree welcomed me in.

I really tried to think about other things, but the thoughts I was worried about kept intruding and the tree was pretty forgiving about that. What he said, as I looked out over the poplars, hearing one break in the wind, was, "I am surrounded by death. But death is the occasion for new life. I mourn, and yet I know that is foolish. We can't help but cling."

Embraced by two buttresses, I sat, watching insects fly, leaves fall and trees sway in the wind. I thought of all the creatures whose life starts in the fungal fruits of the fungi that eat dead wood. Of all the insects, microbes and fungi that reform wood into food. I thought of how hard life is in a toxic world. The ground flora this time of year is basically nettles. The tree said, "I did prefer it when there was more diversity."

After a while, I stood to go, then fell forward into the trunk, crying. The tree said, "Even with your selfish junk, you are actually always welcome." And I felt the tree was more than a friend.

And on the topic of friends, I met someone who said, "People forget that animals and plants were not put here for us." Of course. Why do we always have to justify their existence - beauty, tourism, sport, ecosystem services? The whole thing makes me furious. And I saw my neighbour, the one who used to watch the foxes running along the fence. He said that one sight he sat out for three hours throwing cheese o the patio to watch the mice. He said, "I'm watching them, just watching, and all of a sudden hours have passed!"

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Oct 25, 2023

I enjoyed seeing the spider, and reading about your time with the Oak.

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