This tree has me

This tree has me

This tree is a Norway Maple that was perhaps only fifteen feet tall when I moved into this house 23 years ago. It is now about sixty feet tall and was a favourite climbing tree as my boys grew up.

Some people say I have this or that tree in my garden, but I say this tree has me. It will of course remain here when I am gone.

It stands quietly in the garden, its roots reaching down and out as it secretly sips the soil. Its branches reach correspondingly upwards, flushing with thousands of leaves and dropping them according to the natural law which it obeys without fuss or drama. We should be more like trees.

This western civilisation has become lost. The Red Rebels remind us that all life is sacred. They appear in our shopping precincts and in precincts of our imaginations to remind us of the sacredness that we have forgotten.

If you are feeling lost, here is a poem created from words spoken by a Native American Elder, and reformed by David Wagoner:

Stand Still.
The trees up ahead and the bushes beside you are not lost.
Wherever you are is called ‘here’.
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known by it.
Listen, the forest breathes, it answers.
‘I have made this place around you.
If you leave you may come back again by simply saying ‘here’.

Listen deeply. No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a branch does is lost on you, you are lost indeed.
But even then, stand still, the forest knows where you are.
You must let it find you.

By Linda Richardson, XR Activist and Red Rebel

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’