This morning my mum, her partner, the 2 dogs and I visited Woolton Woods and Camp Hill which are a 10 minute drive from my mum’s home.
The ancient woods where full of the scent of newly mown grass, the heady smell being heightened by the showers which for brief periods chased the sun away.
Both the woods and Camp Hill which abut them contain many ancient oaks. I have always had an affinity with these great trees which derives from happy recollections of collecting acorns with my grandfather. I love the smooth feel of the outer shell of the acorn and how it contrasts with the softer seed within.
One huge oak branch lay on the ground. The wood felt hard to the touch indicating that it haden’t resided long on the woodland floor and was, perhaps a casualty of the recent after effects of the tail end of the hurricane which recently invaded our shores.
A large tree stump stood on the ground it’s roots still clearly visible. The great cycle had begun with grass growing out of this once venerable tree as, imperceptibly decay set in. In years to come this tree trunk will, no doubt fertilise the woodland floor allowing new saplings to take it’s place.
Feeling a little self conscious I tried to put my arms around a huge oak. Unsurprisingly they reached barely halfway round the trunk. The rough bark felt good under my hands, the tree and I sharing a connection – both products of nature’s rich tapestry. This great oak and the others surrounding it have been there long before I was born and unless a mighty natural disaster uproots them will remain long after I have ceased to be. Whenever I see ancient trees the paltry arrogance of humanity is put firmly in it’s place. Those oaks have doubtless seen generations come and go, people living what, for them are lives full of meaning while the great trees look on silently watching generation succeed generation.