The Resilience of Trees

Yesterday was a glorious September day. Warm enough to wear a t-shirt all day, cool enough to have an edge. It started damp and ended with that buttery light that only comes in autumn. It was the best of all possible days. The little red dragonflies were swarming and the hawthorns pushed their fat red berries at me like a conference of strumpets.

 We spent the day cutting back the trees which grow with abandon in the Night Planted Orchard. It feels cruel to take thick boles out of trees, or to cut down the wild plum trees which have sprung up everywhere. It's equally cruel to leave the rowan crowded until it's sad, bowed head and starved leaves are a footnote in the shrubbery, or to leave the Ginko struggling upwards, its light stolen by a rampant Mirabelle on one side, a bullying laurel on the other, and imperious ashes behind. Struggling to carry a twelve foot, six inch thick bole down the garden it struck me that there must be hundreds of tonnes of wood in the garden, all still, all resilient, looking down at me with my mighty pole pruner and whispering 'is that all you've got, little man?'

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