This silver birch is the first thing I see when I open my blinds each morning. It is like greeting a good friend. Noticing the details of the world on my doorstep has been one of the points of light and distraction from worry for me in 2020, and this tree keeps on surprising. Just the other day I was struck by the late sun glistening on the leaves.
This incredible collection of hangings, created from children’s drawings of trees and creatures as part of a commission for Cambridge Youth Opera’s Forest of Imagination, is also helping me connect to joy and optimism this year. To see young children adventuring outdoors alongside the skilled artists I’m so lucky to work with, and then share their brilliant creations on to new communities is such a privalidge. Whilst the idea of pop-up forests was conceived in frustration at another lockdown, it has spiralled into glorious and unexpected places, and connected with many different people. I have loved seeing the children’s work carefully curated and responded to through all these stories and feel I have met new friends and future colleagues along the way.
CCI were involved with the launch of the Tree Charter in 2016, dedicating our publication of poetry created with children from the Spinney Primary School and Jackie Kay – A Poem of a Dream of the Woods. This poem from it sits above my desk and reminds me to keep dreaming:
‘The wind of the skies’ (Rocco Watson, aged 8)
Leaves are blowing
The pond is resting
Across the beautiful woods
I always wonder what I could do
In the wind of the skies
By Ruth Sapsed; Director, Cambridge Curiosity and Imagination
This story is part of a new gallery of images and voices gathered to celebrate Tree Charter Day 2020. You can support the Tree Charter and celebrate Cambridge’s Urban forest by:
Exploring the gallery of trees and voices gathered for this celebration
Signing the Tree Charter
Downloading the Cambridge Canopy Project creative activity pack
Sharing your story with others - #camtrees
Following @CamCanopyProj on Twitter to keep updated on all things ‘Urban Forest’