Don’t tell the trees

The pussy willow, oblivious to the outbreak

I was listening to the Venerable Liz Adekunle this morning on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme’s Thought for the Day.

It’s not something to which I usually tune in. I’m always in too much of a hurry. But hurry has currently gone out of the window in these troubled times. Unless you’re a panic buyer in a supermarket and depleting the shelves of much-needed provisions.

If you listen via the link above, her tree analogy when talking about the need for community and inter-dependency strikes a chord.

‘Trees,’ she said, ‘are rooted and steady and unite together to create an eco-system that moderates extreme heat and cold. Healthy trees, if in close proximity to the roots of unhealthy trees, can even help nourish dying trees to survive.’

I thought about that as our house temporarily became a communications exchange, with Mr Grigg, as community shop chairman, liaising in person and on the phone with staff and volunteers, while I sat at my laptop re-editing the parish magazine to take out all the events cancelled in April.

In spite of the restrictions, we all have to work together to get through this. It will pass but it’s going to be hard for us all.

Up in the field on my dog walk, I saw pussy willow, oblivious to the outbreak, bursting forth from bare branches. New life in a new world in which one virus is threatening to turn our future into a dystopia.

We have to have hope. We’ve got to have hope.

Startling the dogs, I began singing Whispering Grass in the style of Don Estelle but without Windsor Davies.

Don’t tell the trees, because the trees don’t need to know.

I thank God, Zeus, Allah, Mother Nature – whichever deity is listening – that we we live in such a beautiful part of the world. It’s some consolation in uncharted waters.

Keep well and safe.

That’s about it.

Love Maddie x

By Maddie Grigg

Maddie Grigg is the pen name of former local newspaper editor Margery Hookings. Expect reflections on rural life, community, landscape, underdogs, heritage and folklore. And fun.

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